The Election Commission of India (ECI) and State Election Commission (SEC) today informed the Bombay High Court that it would not be possible to install a `No Vote’ panel on the Electronic Voting Machines to be used in the municipal and Zilla Parishad elections in Maharashtra, to be held this month. The division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane-based Dr Mahesh Bedekar, seeking no-vote option in EVMs, as the present system does not guard the secrecy of the voter casting a negative vote.
The ECI, in an affidavit, says it had considered the issue of providing `None of the Above’ panel in EVMs, but such a modification would require amendments in the law.
“The Election Commission wrote two letters to the Government of India and Union Ministry of Law and Judiciary, asking them to amend the law,” the affidavit of Debashish Chakraborty, chief electoral officer, ECI, says. But there was no reply. “Until there is amendment in the law, it will not be possible to include `None of the Above’ panel in the EVM,” the affidavit says.