People can't be forced to vote by enacting law: SC

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Supreme Court of India
New Delhi, Apr 18: The Supreme court on Friday, Apr 17 rejected a plea to make voting compulsory citing that voting is a voter's statutory right to exercise his franchise and the voter has the right to exercise it or not.

“The people cannot be taken to polling booths by enacting laws," the court observed. And added that increasing voter turn out can only be done through creating awareness.

The lawsuit was filed by a cardiologist, Atul Sarode from Savda district, Maharashtra who failed to convince the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam.

Sarode proposed a penalty of cutting out power and water supplies of the voters who did not vote along with added monetary fine which did not impress the bench. And his argument was not supported by any substantial data leading to the dismissal of the suit.

While Sarode contended that it was due to low voter turn out that the government failed to meet its expectations, the bench said that the elections in the recent past have experienced a a healthy increase.

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