EC orders removal of NOTA from Rajya Sabha, legislative council elections
Election Commission of India (EC) had removed NOTA (None of the Above) option from ballot papers of Rajya Sabha, Legislative Council elections following directive of Supreme Court. The NOTA option, henceforth will be only available in direct elections such as Lok Sabha and state assembly elections.
In August 2018, Supreme Court had said that NOTA will not be applicable as ballot option in Rajya Sabha polls. It will only continue to be option in direct elections such as Lok Sabha and state assemblies. It had quashed June 2014 notification of EC that allowed use of NOTA option in Rajya Sabha elections. It held that NOTA will destroy concept of value of vote and representation, and encourage defection that shall open doors for corruption which is malignant disorder. It also had held that NOTA was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.
NOTA is ballot option designed to allow voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It was introduced in 2013 after Supreme Court of India directed Election Commission to provide NOTA button in the electronic voting machines.
NOTA option was first used in 2013 assembly elections held in four States — Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. 2014 Lok Sabha election was first general election to see its nationwide use of NOTA, where it polled 1.1% of the votes.
NOTA is not right to reject i.e. candidate with maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled. Election Commission also has clarified that even though votes cast as NOTA are counted, they are considered as invalid votes so they will not change outcome of election process.