SC refuses to entertain PIL seeking candidates’ photos, details on EVM

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a PIL seeking directions to the Election Commission to replace the symbols of a political party on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with personal details and photographs of candidates.

A bench of Chief Justice of India U U Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi disposed of the plea after the counsel appearing for the poll body assured that the authorities concerned would look into the representation submitted by petitioner Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

The petitioner contended that if the candidates’ details are required to be given, the parties would be forced to give tickets to those with credibility and thus reduce criminality from creeping into politics.

Attorney General R Venkataramani, however, said that while the concerns are well taken, he found it difficult to agree with the logic of the argument advanced by the petitioner. He 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. “So, to say the symbol is the most mischievous part I think is not right…Every political party has an identity. Symbol is the most easiest point of identity,” he told the bench.

CJI Lalit also pointed out that election is integrally connected with a political party and that is why the ethos of the 10th Schedule is that a person who is elected should not switch over.

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