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SC refuses to hear PIL for candidates’ photos and EVM details

Attorney General said that voting on the EVM comes at the end of polling process while the choice of whom to vote for is taken much before that. (Representational Image)

In a decision on Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to entertain a PIL seeking directions to the Election Commission to replace the symbols of a political party on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with candidates’ photographs and personal information.

Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi disposed of the petition after the counsel appearing on behalf of the poll body assured that the authorities would consider the representation submitted by petitioner Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

A petitioner argued that if the details of candidates are required, the parties will be forced to give tickets to those with credibility, thereby reducing the possibility of criminality in politics.

Attorney General R Venkataramani, however, said that while the petitioner’s concerns are well taken, he found it challenging to agree with the logic of the argument. Voting on the EVM occurs at the end of the voting process, whereas the decision of who to vote for is made much earlier. It does not seem appropriate to say that the symbol is the most mischievous aspect of a political party. Every political party has a distinctive identity. The logo is the most accessible point of identity,” he told the bench.

In addition, CJI Lalit stated that election is integrally tied to a political party, which is why the 10th Schedule prohibits a person from changing political parties once elected.

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