Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Supreme Court seeks comments from Govt, EC over prisoners right to vote in elections

New Delhi: In response to a PIL that questions the legality of a clause of the Representation of People Act that prohibits a prisoner from voting, the Supreme Court on Monday sought comments from the Government and the Election Commission.

Attorney Zoheb Hossain’s arguments were noted by a bench consisting of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judges S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, who also sent notifications to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the election body.

Aditya Prasanna Bhattacharya, a student at the National Law University at the time, filed the petition in 2019 contesting the constitutionality of section 62(5) of the Representation of People Act, which forbids an incarcerated person from voting in elections.

The bench set December 29 as the next hearing date for the PIL.

“No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police. Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to a person subjected to preventive detention under any law for the time being in force,” reads the impugned provision of the Act.

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