New Delhi: The Supreme Court overruled an Election Commission notification, saying that the option NOTA (None of the Above) cannot be permitted for voting in Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday.
"It is impermissible for the EC to have prescribed NOTA option in RS elections, it being an indirect means for proportional representation of States in RS," the apex court bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipka Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed.
The top court has set aside the poll panel's notification allowing NOTA option in the ballot papers for Rajya Sabha elections.
The Supreme Court had questioned the EC's notification and said that NOTA was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.
The verdict came on a plea of Shailesh Manubhai Parmar, who was the Congress's chief whip in the Gujarat Assembly during the 2017 Rajya Sabha elections, in which the party had fielded sitting lawmaker Ahmed Patel.
Parmar had challenged the Election Commission's notification allowing the NOTA option in ballot papers.
The Supreme Court had earlier said by introducing NOTA, the poll panel was legitimising the act of not voting. The Congress leader from Gujarat had alleged that if NOTA provision was allowed in Rajya Sabha polls, it would encourage "horse-trading and corruption".
The Election Commission had said NOTA was first introduced in 2014 following a Supreme Court verdict a year earlier and they (the Congress) did not have any objection in subsequent polls as it suited them.
Option of NOTA for Lok Sabha and assembly elections was prescribed by the Supreme Court in 2013.