The option can be exercised in the coming state elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Mizoram as well as to the Lok Sabha. A Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi delivered the ruling which has significant ramifications for electoral reforms. Granting the Indian electorate ‘right to reject’, the Judges said electronic voting machines will henceforth have a provision for ‘none of the above’. A voter can now reject all the candidates if found unsuitable. The apex court also noted that ‘right to reject’ if exercised by a voter will go a long way in cleansing the political system of the country.
According to AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, the main issue is even if ‘right to reject’ is exercised by a majority of the electorate, the candidate getting maximum votes shall still be declared elected. There should be provision for a cancellation of the election if the majority of the voters reject all the candidates, Mr Kejriwal said adding however that he welcomed the ruling. The apex court also directed the Election Commission of India to make provision for ‘none of the above’ in EVMs and identity of such voter must be kept secret. The Centre was directed to cooperate and coordinate with the Election Commission for proper and expeditious implementation of the direction of granting a voter ‘right to reject’, voiced for a long time by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.