A public interest petition has been filed urging Madras High court to direct Chief Election Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer to take appropriate steps and measures to design a symbol to represent none of the above (NOTA) option in electronic voting machines The first bench of Madras High Court, comprising acting chief justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundaresh, adjourned the hearing to one week after G Rajagopal, standing counsel for Election Commission sought time to file affidavit on preferred action to be taken by the respondent.
The petition which was filed by advocate S Sathiachandran stated that the right of voters to register ‘NOTA’ would be better and effectively exercised if the Election Commission identifies an apt or suitable symbol to represent NOTA and puts the same into use by printing the same in the ballot paper or providing a button in the EVMs.
“In the EVMs, while all the candidates are allotted symbols representing their candidature,
the provision of just adding a NOTA button in the EVMs will only be doing lip service to the invaluable right of the voters to reject the candidates fielded. In such circumstances, the right of voters as expounded by apex court gets obliterated in the absence of effective measures to ensure the exercise of the voters right,” he said.
He also urged the High Court to direct the respondents to create an awareness campaign of the symbol through all print and electronic media and any other display media including digital banners to be kept in various conspicuous places throughout the country for the impending 16th Lok Sabha elections.