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People’s Union for Civil Liberties (P.U.C.L) Vs. Union of India & Ors. – NOTA Judgm

Author: Sanskar Meena Student, Rajiv Gandhi National Law University


The option to cast an election has been an idea which joined as a key right of the people. During the prior times, this right vested in the hands of only a specific class of people. In certain social orders, the option to cast a ballot was just vested with people and needed to confront a long battle before they were likewise permitted to cast a survey in open decisions or appointment of some other nature.

In India during the British rule when self-administration was acquainted, the right to vote vested uniquely in hands of some individuals who had a place with a specific class. Along with the passage of time and a long battle for opportunity, the growth was observed in the testimonial. For example, the right vote was given to people similarly, proficient and ignorant similarly by the selection of the Indian constitution.

Despite of the existence of the other measurements in the political arena, an inquiry was brought up know if the right of not supporting any of the applicants is in any sense an opposing any race. However, the decision was anonymous till date like a golden bird that has gone invisible or kind of mysterious. Later, it was found by the apex court of India in the moment milestone case.

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) examined that exact quantity of counting won by column none of The Above in different decisions from the year 2013. The connection was recognized between the American English and the Executive gist in native Hindi with Devanagari script and Kannada.

“NOTA (None of the above mentioned) was presented in the apex court judgment dated 27th September 2013 in WP (C) No. 161 of 2004, (People’s Union for Civil Liberties and another Vs. the Union of India and another)”[1]. The apex court guided the EC to adopt for an essential arrangement in the voting form ballot papers/Electronic Voting Machines and give a catch to ‘Nothing unless there are other options’ (NOTA) in EVMs so the citizens who go to the surveying stall and choose not to decide in favour of any of the competitors in the quarrel, can use their right to the fullest by not using the ballot at the same time as holding on their right to mystery. The none of the above button arrangement was initially executed in the State Assembly Elections of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Delhi as well as Madhya Pradesh in 2013.


The case manages the inherent right of a ballotter of mystery all the while as practicing the surveying structure system which intertwines his choice of non-vote based “(negative vote based) and the contention that appears to have emerged between Kuldip Nayar case and Association for vote based changes and PUCL concerning the situation with the decision to give a democratic structure a job as major or genuine right which will pick it’s enjoyableness to writ locale under article 32 of the Constitution and whether Kuldip Nayar overrules the last two decisions”:[2]

High court in the last two choices held that right to information open under the choice to talk vigorously of talk and explanation in Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian constitution merges the inhabitant’s with everything thought about right to know the perfect representations of picking contenders including their criminal establishment, assets and obligations, family members and enlightening breaking point.


PUCL, a social freedoms NGO, archived “a injunction offer under Article 32 of the Constitution, testing consecrated authenticity of Rules 41(2) and (3), Section 33B of the Representation of People Act, and 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 communicating that these plans abuse the mystery of casting a vote which is vital for the free and sensible races and is needed to be kept up as per Section 128 of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 and Rules 39 and 49-M of the Rules”[3].

The sacrosanct authenticity of Rules 41(2), (3) and 49-O of the Rules of 1961, was condemned. The combined effect of these standards was that individuals who didn’t project a voting form in choices were recorded (by the overseeing official) as having not cast a voting form. The candidates battled this as an encroachment to one side to secret balloting, guaranteed by Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution.

In the above basis, the candidates consequently spoke to God for articulating Rules 41(2) and (3) and 49O of the Rules ultra vires and unlawful and besides requested of God for a course to the Election Commission of India, to give essential plan in the surveying structure papers similarly as in the electronic vote based machines for the affirmation of the right of not to project a polling form to keep silent about the movement of such right under the current RP Act/the Rules or Article 324 of the Constitution.


  1. The essential issue was that whether rule 41(2) and (3) and 49-O of the rule regard the mystery of casting a ballot which is major to the free and reasonable decisions and is needed to be kept up according to Sec 128 of the Representations of the People Act1951 and rules 39 and 49-M of the standards.

  2. Whether a writ can be given for a situation managing a legal right of casting a ballot?

  3. Whether the choice set down in Kuldip Nayar in regards to right of a citizen should be returned to and whether the two decisions Association for majority rule changes’ and PUCL stands overruled?

  4. Whether the standards 41(2) (3) and 49 O of direct political decision rule 1961 disregard the principal privileges of the citizen?


  1. This court is fit to hear the issues raised in this writ demand for the going with reasons:

  2. This court in Union of India v Association for Democratic Reforms set out that creation of decision is a component of the right of enunciation of an individual and got under article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

  3. Depending investigating the issue of PUCL, court perceived ‘right to project a voting form’ and ‘chance of projecting a voting form or right to excuse as a types of opportunity of enunciation’ and communicated that anyway right to project a voting form is a lawful right yet the decision taken by a resident resulting to checking the capabilities of the candidate either to project a polling form or not is a sort of verbalization under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. The creation of decision for either candidate equivalent to enunciation of his evaluation and tendency and that last stage in the action of projecting a polling form right means the accomplishment of freedom of verbalization of the resident. This is where article 19(1) (a) is attracted.

  4. The head straightforwardly under article 19(1) (a) read with lawful right under region 79(d) (recognizes the choice to evade making a choice) is dismissed ridiculously if right not to project a polling form feasibly is denied and secret is entered[4].

  5. Managing the ensuing issue, court kept up that the two choices have not vexed the position that choice to project a polling form is a lawful right anyway have just added that choice to know the establishment of a contender is a vital right of a voter so he can take a normal decision of conveying his considerations while rehearsing the lawful right to project a polling form. From now on, Kuldip Nayar doesn’t overruled the two decisions of Association for larger part rule changes and PUCL anyway reaffirms data uncovered in the two choices. Moreover, Kuldip Nayar case perceived body electorate-based depiction (indirect choices to Lok Sabha and state gatherings) and relative depiction in an agent lion’s share decide government communicating that by virtue of keep going people are picked on hardliner chiefs, subject to party request and committed to be eliminated for break of control. In such case open surveying structure can work and will not smash free and sensible races while in the past people projects a voting form along these lines upkeep of secret gets must as this incorporates direct races wherein resident settles on his decision with no fear of being cheated if his vote is revealed.

  6. Managing the third issue, Court kept up that the set up right of occupants to settle on a negative decision in choices and held that the sacrosanct authenticity of rules 41(2), (3) and 49-O of the lead of political race rules was decried reliant upon the going with reasons:

  7. In a course of action of direct choices, secret is principal to guarantee the suitability of the decision in favour of model races couldn’t be free and sensible aside from if secret is kept up[5].

  8. Likewise, since freedom to project a polling form normally consolidates the chance not to project a polling form, it is self-confident to loosen up secret to one and not to other.

  9. Compelling the working of the Democracy through free and sensible choices is the substance of the crucial plan of the Constitution, as it was set down in Indira Nehru Gandhi versus Raj Narain and free and sensible races consolidates inside its ambit the right of an optional to settle on his decision unafraid of counter, pressing factor or impulse. An essential piece of free and sensible choices is protection of optional’s character and dealing with the expense of secret. Foundation of a discrepancy between the ballotter who cast his vote and the resident who doesn’t is violative of article14.Therefore, mystery ought to be loosened up to the two classes of individuals.

  10. Casting choice and not majority rule the two benefits similar degree of affirmation as the show of not popularity based is as much a valuable exercise of free verbalisation under Article 19(1)(a) as is projecting a voting form.

  11. Thus, the court guided the Election Commission to introduce a “Nothing except if there are different choices [NOTA]” elective into the EVM with the objective that the residents who go to make their choice and simultaneously decided to come up for none of the up-comers, can rehearse their right to not project a voting form while keeping up their secret. This NOTA elective resembles the ABSTAIN decision given to the people from parliament since by pressing NOTA, the resident is essentially avoiding giving a polling form a role as he doesn’t find any meriting contenders.

Contingent upon S. Raghubir Singh case, court held democratic structure secret includes a propose of set up greater part rule government and is a benefit permitted straightforwardly interest. Craftsmanship 19 is infringed when this secret isn’t kept up and a citizen is obliged to reveal his vote[6].

In addition, the court held that the right to secret is likewise seen under Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 25(b) of International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.


NOTA has been depicted as the developing of India’s majority rules system. One sort of assessment is that the reason and benefit of NOTA have been crushed as the victor will be the competitor who gets the second-most elevated number of votes, regardless of whether NOTA gets the most noteworthy number of votes. Henceforth, “NOTA is a positive advance”, while “it doesn’t go far enough”. NOTA is considered a “misuse of vote”, “only restorative”, “an emblematic instrument to communicate hatred”, electors communicating their “upsetting with the current political framework” and potentially “a simple design”.

“A few groups contend that the execution of NOTA will drive up political decision costs. Be that as it may, a spoiled applicant who enjoys debasement and acts of neglect is a more noteworthy expense for the country. It is just the longing to proceed in influence and the insatiability for cash that take unmistakable quality over qualities.”

[1] Tapan Kumar, “NOTA: The New Provision,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 48, no. 42, 2013, pp. 5–5. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021.

[2] “2013 Legislative Assembly Elections, Rajasthan.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 49, no. 6, 2014, pp. 90–93. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021.

[3] KATJU MANJARI, “The ‘None of the Above’ Option.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 48, no. 42, 2013, pp. 10–12. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021.

[4] Kumar, Rohit, “NOTA Not Enough.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 48, no. 44, 2013, pp. 5–5. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021

[5] Damore, David F., et al, “Unhappy, Uninformed, or Uninterested? Understanding ‘None of the Above’ Voting.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 65, no. 4, 2012, pp. 895–907. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021.

[6] KATJU MANJARI, “The ‘None of the Above’ Option.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 48, no. 42, 2013, pp. 10–12. JSTOR, Accessed 15 June 2021.

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