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Supreme Court dismissed PIL to replace party symbol on EVMs with details of candidates

Supreme Court dismissed PIL to replace party symbol on EVMs with details of candidates

 On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi refused to entertain a petition filed by BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking the removal of party symbols from EVMs and stated that the case could not be considered under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The court held that "Election is integrally connected to the political party which backs the particular candidate. It is possible that after being elected the person joins another party"

Senior Advocates Vikas Singh and Gopal Sankarnarayan, who represented Upadhyay, stated that Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution were violated. They contended that the display of party symbols on EVMs swayed voters' choices and denied them the opportunity to vote based on the credibility of election candidates.

"Why are parties not selecting those with no criminal background? A standard affidavit is filed; every political party is doing that. That he is popular in that area etc. Legislature won't step in because they don't want to cut their own hands," "The party will be compelled to give tickets to better people. This is done in Brazil, which has no symbols. Voters now just go and vote for party. If party symbols are removed, voters will also try to learn about the person they're voting for."

They requested that ECI use the candidates' "name, age, educational qualification, and photograph" on EVM in order to provide equal opportunity to contesting candidates and to weed out corruption, criminalization, and so on.

According to the petition, this will also help electors vote for and support intelligent, diligent, and honest candidates, as well as open the door for social activists, educators, jurists, intellectuals, and public-spirited, honest people to enter politics, according to the plea.

The Attorney General of India, R Venkataramani, opposed the petition, claiming that EVMs were used at the end of a polling process and that voters chose their candidate much earlier. Furthermore, he claimed that all information about a candidate must be disclosed in advance.

"So symbol being mischievous part of it is misconceived. Larger questions about the criminalization of politics, for example, are a different matter.But on this, I do not think the petition can stand", he stated.

Advocate Amit Sharma for ECI assured the Court that the Petitioner's representation would be taken into account. As a result, the matter was disposed of.

 

Case Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Anr.

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