HC stays compulsory voting rule in Gujarat

HC stays compulsory voting rule in Gujarat

HC stays compulsory voting rule in Gujarat

The Gujarat High Court on Friday stayed the Gujarat government notification that made voting compulsory for citizens in the forthcoming civic body elections to be held later this year.

A bench, headed by acting chief justice of Gujarat High Court Jayant Patel, admitted the petition filed by advocate K R Koshti questioning the provisions of making voting obligatory for all the citizens.

 Citing various provisions of the People’s Representation Act, he also challenged the government move saying that voting was a right of citizens and not a duty.

The high court bench stayed the government’s July notification till final disposal of the case.
The high court, while hearing the petition, observed that the Right to Vote itself contained Right to refrain from voting.

The Anandiben Patel led state government had taken the lead among all the states by making voting compulsory, beginning with forthcoming elections to local self-governing bodies.

 Gujarat is scheduled to hold elections to 253 municipalities, 208 taluka panchayats, 26 district panchayats and six municipal corporations later this year.

The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009, was passed in 2009 and in 2011, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Gujarat chief minister.