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Should all candidates be rejected if NOTA tops asks Supreme Court

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New Delhi, Mar 16: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre and the Election Commission whether it would be really permissible to reject all candidates in the fray if NOTA exceeded that of the candidates securing the highest number of votes.

Should all candidates be rejected if NOTA tops asks Supreme Court

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde agreed to examine a petition, but also added that such a note could cause disruptions in formation of Parliament and assemblies after the elections.

"Imagine a political party having influence over voters succeeding in convincing them to cast negative votes in many constituencies. This would result in many seats in Parliament and assemblies going vacant and make it difficult for constitution of Houses. Moreover, a constituency would go unrepresented for a long time," the CJI said while adding that in out electoral system, this could be counter-productive.

"If Nota gets a majority of votes, then election to that constituency should be cancelled and a fresh election should be held within a particular time. The candidates rejected in nullified elections should not be allowed to participate in the fresh election. The right to reject contesting candidates and elect a new candidate, if Nota gets maximum votes, is not only necessary to ensure free and fair election but is also essential for de-criminalisation and de-communalisation of polity," the petitioner said.

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