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Supreme Court Rejects Plea for Removing Party Symbols from EVMs

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The highest court rejected the plea, saying a candidate’s political party is relevant in the voting process.

Srishti Ojha

New Delhi,UPDATED: 2 Nov 2022 03:29 IST

Electronic voting machine

The plea was aimed at removing party symbols from ballot papers and electronic voting machines (EVM). (Representative photo)

By Srishti Ojha: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by attorney Ashwini Upadhyay for directions for removing party symbols from electronic voting machines (EVM).

The plea was aimed at removing party symbols from ballot papers and EVM and replacing them with the candidates’ name, age, educational qualifications and photo.

A bank headed by the Chief Justice of India UU Lalit recorded that the petitioner made a statement in this regard to the Election Commission of India (ECI). The court registered the comments of counsel for the ECI that the petitioner’s representation would be considered by the relevant authorities.

Senior lawyer Vikas Singh who appeared before Upadhyay argued that political parties are publicized and that a candidate’s work is often overshadowed by the identity of the political party. He added that if the candidates’ names are added on EVM machines instead, the electoral system and parties will have better people.

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However, the bank noted that the premise of voting is that the voter chooses a person who belongs to a political party. And while the persona of the candidate in question is a determining criterion, the political party that appointed him is relevant.

CJI Lalit asked, “Someone nominated by a party, what’s so wrong with having their symbol with a person’s individual details?”

The Attorney General of India has argued that while the petitioner’s concerns are well understood, he finds it difficult to agree with them. He added that the EVMs are not the place where a person makes a choice about choosing a candidate and candidates are announced by parties much earlier.

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