Choosing ‘None of the Above’ in the fray
The Supreme Court of India, in its judgment dated September 27, 2013, in People’s Union for Civil Liberties and another v the Union of India and another, has directed the election commission to make necessary provision in the ballot papers/EVMs and provide a button for ‘None of the Above’ in EVMs so that the voters who come to the polling booth, and decide not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, are able to exercise their right not to vote while maintaining their right of secrecy.
In accordance with the order of the Supreme Court “None of the Above” shall be printed in a separate panel on the ballot paper below the name of the last contesting candidate. This ballot paper shall be affixed on the ballot unit of the EVM. If the voter presses the button next to “None of the Above” his desire not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray will get recorded in the EVM in secrecy.
Commission shall also make appropriate changes in Part-2 of Form 17C used during counting and the result sheet in Form 20 to separately compile the number of persons who used the option not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray. Election Commission of India shall issue detailed instructions to ensure compliance with the order of the court as expeditiously as possible.