Nation
Voters have right to reject all candidates contesting elections: SC

The landmark judgement from the apex court would force political parties to find better candidates and also pay attention to middle-class concerns about growth, development and infrastructure, instead of focusing only on narrow vote banks and money-muscle power of its candidate

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday said, voters have a right to reject all candidates contesting an election. This negative voting would now make all political parties to select good candidates unlike the current practice to decide candidature based on the money and muscle power of the candidate.

 

While delivering the significant verdict, the apex court said, negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidate as well as foster purity and vibrancy in elections. "If right to vote is statutory right, right to reject candidate is fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution," the SC said.

 

Elections are an expensive and nerve-racking business for political parties and the cost of a re-election and finding worthy candidates will be very high. The right-to-reject button alone will create plenty of pressure in entrenched political parties to find better candidates and also pay attention to middle-class concerns about growth, development and infrastructure, instead of focusing only on narrow vote banks. Even a 25% improvement in the choice of candidates will lead to a significant incremental transformation in India. 

 

Last year, while speaking at a seminar titled “Democracy at Crossroads—Need for Electoral Reforms”, organised by Moneylife Foundation and V Citizens Action Network (VCAN), Dr SY Quraishi, former chief election commissioner had said, “What people don’t understand is the lower the turn-out, the easier it is for the criminals and dishonest candidates to win.”

 

With the Supreme Court decision, people who desist from voting because of not finding right candidate, would come forward and participate in the election process.

 

In January 2012, some like minded activists, including Vallabh C had stated a petition on Change.org for requesting the Election Commission to fully restore secrecy of voting and introduce a button on electronic voting machines (EVMs) for 'not voting'.

 

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that the returning officer can reject nomination papers of a candidate for non-disclosure and suppression of information, including that of assets and their criminal background.

 

The apex court said voters have a fundamental right to know about their candidates and leaving columns blank in the nomination paper amounts to violation of their right. The Election Commission (EC) had supported the plea filed by Resurgence India, a civil rights group, that no column should be allowed to be left blank which tantamount to concealing information and not filing complete affidavit.

User

COMMENTS

manoj

3 years ago

The verdict of Supreme Court on the inclusion of negative vote in election is good. But how far it will be materialised? To add a button no longer solves present problems. Lakhs of voters are still deprived of their right to take apt decision at the time of election. The colour of the button and its position too should be different and it will not be identical with the buttons against the names and symbols of candidates. People use the button without discretion. It is heard that many voters cast their vote without understanding the name or symbol and very often their choice fall first or last button of the EVM.I think those who boycott elections will have a chance, at least to make use of the system itself to put forward their demands or to propose a candidate of their choice for parliamentary practices. When we compare with right to recall, referendum or plebiscite and proportional representation, it is easy and more acceptable form of public censoring. I favour a law making in this regard. Elections will be clear and transparent and results will be declared as early as possible.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

3 years ago

Those trying to take the ordinance route, here's the return ticket. . .

TIHARwale

3 years ago

Good that Supreme Court has directed Election Commission of India to provide "None of the above" choice option button to be made available in EVMs, this along with debarring convicted elected representatives from retaining their seats in legislature should be used by voters judiciously and by providing this option the digital voters who avoided casting votes during election under pretext all the available candidates in our area were unworthy should ensure they mark their protest by exercising vote in favour of "None of the above" . Election commission of India should come up with guidelines that for whichever seat "None of the above" gets the lead position re poll will not held before one year and so this calls for suitable amendment to present position that by poll is called up whenever seat is declared vacant and also no by poll need to be held if left over period of the legislature is less than one year from next general election.

REPLY

Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to TIHARwale 3 years ago

do you want to debarr representation tothe people who took a right decision not to elelct good among the crooks contesting.the purpose of the decision itself is defeated. already there are reports that this will be included in invalid votes and negate the effect of court ruling. all the candidates who have contested should be barred from contesting election from any constituency till two elections are completed for the same post in that constituency. and reelection should be held withing one month from that date of the result of the present election.then only parties will be forced to put good candidates.

Investors can get monetary relief during claim proceedings: SEBI

Investors with claims of less than Rs10 lakh, would get certain amount during their claim proceedings from the investor protection fund

Market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) said it will give monetary relief to investors having claims up to Rs10 lakh, during the course of proceedings from the Investor Protection Fund (IPF) of stock exchanges.

 

According to a release, SEBI said, the Investor Grievance Redressal Committee (IGRC) in the stock exchange would be empowered to look into admissibility of claims in addition to conciliation process. If IGRC concludes that the complaint cannot be resolved through conciliation process, then the stock exchange would block the claim amount admissible to the investor from the deposit of the concerned member. The member would get seven days to pursue next arbitration. If the member does not opt for arbitration, then the stock exchange would release the blocked amount to the investor after the seven day's timeframe.

 

SEBI said, in case, the member opts for arbitration and the claim value admissible to the investor is not more than Rs10 lakh, the monetary relief from IPF would be given to the investor as mentioned below:
 

i. 50% of the admissible claim value or Rs75,000, whichever is less, shall be released to the investor from IPF of the stock exchange.

ii. In case the arbitration award is in favour of the investor and the member opts for appellate arbitration then a positive difference of, 50% of the amount mentioned in the arbitration award or Rs1.5 lakh, whichever is less and the amount already released to the investor at clause (i) above, shall be released to the investor from IPF of the stock exchange.

iii. In case the appellate arbitration award is in favour of the investor and the member opts for making an application under section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to set aside the appellate arbitration award, then a positive difference of 75% of the amount determined in the appellate arbitration award or Rs2 lakh, whichever is less and the amount already released to the investor at clause (i) and (ii) above, shall be released to the investor from IPF of the stock exchange.

 

Separately, SEBI said, in order to address the complaints regarding 'unauthorised trades', the stock exchanges would ensure that the contract note issued by member for transactions owing to non-compliance of margin calls would bear a remark specifying the same. The member would maintain a verifiable record of having made such margin calls and that the clients have not complied with the same, the market regulator said.

 

SEBI has also asked stock exchanges to set up facilitation desks at all investor service centres to assist investors in obtaining documents or details from stock exchanges wherever so required for making application to IGRC and filing arbitration.

 

The market regulator has also reduced the amount payable by investor for appellate arbitration to Rs10,000 from Rs30,000.

User

About 30% of MPs and MLAs are involved in criminal cases, of which 14% are serious ones

An analysis by ADR and NEW reveals that most political parties have been continuously doling out election tickets to candidates who have declared charges of promoting enmity between religious groups, destruction of religious places and committing acts intended to hurt religious sentiments

During the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and various State assembly elections since 2008, out of the 4,807 elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), 1,460 or 30% have declared criminal cases against them, out of which 688 or 14% have been declared serious criminal cases. However, only 24 out of the 4,807 MPs and MLAs admitted that they have been convicted, at some point in a court of law, reveals an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).

 

Were the staggering figures the reason behind the Union Government to bring out an Ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs? Earlier this week, in order to nullify the Supreme Court judgement that erased statutory protection earlier available to MPs and MLAs, the government brought out an ordinance. In its judgement on 10th July, the Apex Court had said if an MP or MLA was/is convicted in a serious crime and sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, he/she would be disqualified immediately.

 

Calling the move to bring out an ordinance by the Cabinet as 'making convicted law-makers as show-pieces of white elephants', noted Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal said, "This means that the nation will have to bear uselessly on the heavy dose of privileges available to these white elephants from now onwards to be kept as show-pieces in the temples of democracy. The Union Cabinet has left no stone unturned to prove that India has a unique type of democracy, where it is a system for the politicians, by the politicians and of the politicians. President Pranab Mukherjee should rise to the occasion by refusing to sign anti-public Ordinance."

 

Replying to Mr Agrawal's email Fali S Nariman, senior advocate to the Supreme Court and president of the Bar Association of India, said it must be checked first if there is any precedent of a Bill pending in Parliament which then got referred to a Select Committee and, then during a recess, got pushed through as an Ordinance.

 

"The Ordinance route versus Bill-in-Parliament-route is an either/or exercise. Otherwise the Executive would be doing indirectly what it could not do directly: a pending Bill referred to a Select Committee cannot be converted into an Ordinance since the wish of the House is that the pending Bill requires maturer consideration before being enacted as law. The effect of an Ordinance under Article 123(2) is that it ’shall have force and effect as an Act of Parliament’–something totally inconsistent with the existing fact viz a pending Bill already referred to a Select Committee for further consideration," Mr Nariman said.

     

Coming back to the elected representatives, as per the analysis by ADR and NEW, out of the total 47,389 candidates who have contested various elections since 2008, only 155 or 0.3% have declared, in their affidavits, that they have been convicted at some point in a court of law.

 

However, not all convictions lead to disqualification of sitting MPs or MLAs. Only convictions related to the cases registered under those violations mentioned in sections 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) come under the purview of the Supreme Court judgement.

 

According to the report, it is possible that a candidate contesting an election may be refraining from declaring conviction in his/ her affidavit once an appeal, in a higher court, is admitted challenging the conviction. "In such a case this candidate may merely mention that an appeal is pending in a court and may not declare the conviction in the appropriate section of the affidavit. It is also possible that candidates may be suppressing or hiding the conviction altogether because as of now there is no reliable mechanism in place to scrutinise these affidavits," the report says.Sitting MPs with cases under IPC 153A:
 

11 Sitting MPs have declared cases under IPC Section 153A
 

9 out of the 11 MPs are from the Lok Sabha and 2 are members of the Rajya Sabha
 

Sitting MLAs with cases under IPC 153A:
 

26 Sitting MLAs have declared cases under IPC Section 153A
 

Sitting MPs with cases under IPC 295A:
 

3 Sitting MPs have declared cases under IPC Section 295A
 

(There may be an overlap between MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A, IPC 295 and IPC 153A i.e. they are not mutually exclusive)
 

Sitting MLAs with cases under IPC 295A:
 

9 Sitting MLAs from various states have declared cases under IPC Section 295A
 

(There may be an overlap between MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A, IPC 295 and IPC 153A i.e. they are not mutually exclusive)
 

Sitting MPs with cases under IPC 295:
 

3 Sitting MPs have declared cases under IPC Section 295
 

(There may be an overlap between MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A, IPC 295 and IPC 153A i.e. they are not mutually exclusive)
 

Sitting MLAs with cases under IPC 295:

 

5 Sitting MLAs have declared cases under IPC Section 295
 

(There may be an overlap between MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A, IPC 295 and IPC 153A i.e. they are not mutually exclusive)
 

Partywise MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 153A:
 

Among all parties:

14 BJP MPs and MLAs (7 MPs and 7 MLAs);

5 AIMIM MPs and MLAs (1 MP and 4 MLAs);

4 MPs and MLAs from SP (1 MP and 3 MLAs);

4 MLAs from TRS;

2 MLAs from JD(U);

1 MLA each from INC, DMK, RJD, PMK have declared cases under IPC Section 153A.

1 MP each from TDP and VCK has also declared cases under Section 153A
 

Statewise MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 153A:
 

12 Uttar Pradesh MPs and MLAs (4 MPs from Lok Sabha, 1 MP from Rajya Sabha and 7 MLAs);
 

10 Andhra Pradesh MPs and MLAs (1 Lok Sabha MP, 1 Rajya Sabha MP and 8 MLAs);
 

4 MLAs from Bihar;
 

4 Karnataka MPs and MLAs (2 MPs and 2 MLAs);
 

3 Tamil Nadu MPs and MLAs (1 MP and 2 MLAs) have declared cases under IPC Section 153A
 

Partywise MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A:
 

Among all parties:
 

5 BJP MPs and MLAs (1 MP and 4 MLAs);
 

5 AIMIM MPs and MLAs (1 MP and 4 MLAs) have declared cases under IPC Section 295A.
 

(There may be an overlap between MPs and MLAs with cases under IPC 295A, IPC 295 and IPC 153A i.e. they are not mutually exclusive)
 

Here is the list of MPs and MLAs who have declared convictions in their affidavit…

User

COMMENTS

Vaibhav Dhoka

3 years ago

The easiest way for congress is scrap Supreme court.It will take care of Lalu's membership of parliament.

SuchindranathAiyerS

3 years ago

It is hard to believe that only 30% of India's law makers are criminal.An absolute majority is more probable.

Parimal Shah

3 years ago

Let us vote against 3C - Criminals, Corrupt, and communal
-Parimal

Ramesh Iyer

3 years ago

It is a pity our Constitution is mum on such crucial provisions. With Indian politics being dominated by muscle &/ money power, besides dynastic rule, barring those with criminal backgrounds ought to have been enshrined in the Constitution, instead of the present govt having to bring in an ordinance to appease certain allies. It's a travesty of democracy !

Rekha Jagannath

3 years ago

It is really senseless to go by Supreme Court statement on 'Aadhaar'. Aadhar is an ICT effort to bring an identity to all people of India.Unorganised sector could be turned around to organized sector. it could be instrumental to inclusive dvelopment by being used in PDS, subsidies and T&D to prevent and detect leakage. in fact corruption could be reduced in several areas with Aadhaar systematic use.Security lapses could be detected and so reduced.Medical facilities could be accessed more systematically. Elections could be more systematic and corruption free.Banks could penetrate into all rural areas.So people should prefer to use Adhaar to make it a success, no matter what. Otherwise a very good solution will bite the dust alas!

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)