Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra Election Commission to consider including the column for `Negative Vote` in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) so as to ensure secrecy.
A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha was hearing
a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Thane based doctor
Mahesh Bedekar stating that when secrecy is maintained while a
voter casts his vote for a candidate, the same should also be
ensured when a person wants to cast a negative vote.
"By casting a negative vote, the voter decides not to
vote for any of the available candidates. When a voter wishes
to do so, he or she is asked to fill out a separate form and a
register is also maintained with name and details of the
voter. Chances of the person being harassed is there," Sanjeev
Gorwadkar, petitioner`s advocate argued.
He further sought for the column of negative vote to be
included in the EVMs for the upcoming municipal corporation
and Zilla Parishad elections.
Advocate Sachin Shete, appearing for the state election
commission, however, said that making changes in the EVMs for
the upcoming elections are not possible as it was too late.
"The commission is willing to consider including negative
vote column in the machine but we don`t have time to try it,"
The court then asked the commission to file its reply
within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on January