The Gujarat High Court Monday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to further promote the option of none of the above or NOTA among the voters in the coming local body polls after the SEC filed an affidavit in the court stating that all the measures are being used to promote its use.
“…Various modes have been adopted for such awareness, including television, radio, news papers etc,” the affidavit filed by the SEC stated. It said that it will produce audio/video television script etc. The affidavit was filed following a petition by lawyer K R Koshti seeking compliance report from the commission on the order of the court dated October 30.
Koshti through the petition sought SEC report on the measures taken to educate the voters about the option of NOTA on electronic voting machine. On Sunday the vacation court directed the commission to file an affidavit.
The commission in the affidavit has strongly objected the petition by saying, “the applicant is in habit of asking relief after relief as an after thought.”
“The court has asked the SEC to further promote the use of NOTA and create public awareness among the voters,” Koshti said adding that the matter will be heard on November 24.
Koshti has filed a series of petitions, including against the state legislation which made the voting compulsory. Following his petition, the High Court stayed the law and the matter is pending.
Koshti also sought court’s intervention to keep NOTA as an option for the voters which the SEC was not implementing in the upcoming polls for six municipal corporations – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar slated to be held on November 22 and polls for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities to be held on November 29.
On October 30, the High Court had ordered the SEC to bring the NOTA option for the voters with a directive to the state government to assist the commission to create awareness among the voters.