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Include NOTA in ballot papers for Bar Association Elections: HC Adv to Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana

Chandigarh, Dec 5, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
The elections to the Executive Committee of Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association (PHHCBA) are scheduled for coming 15th December 2023. Also, on the same day, elections to all districts and sub-divisions Bar associations in UT Chandigarh and twin States of Punjab and Haryana would be conducted.

Meanwhile, an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar, being a member of PHHCBA ( Elector No. 1434) has today sent an Appeal cum Representation to BS Rana, Chairman of Election Committee as constituted for conducting elections to PHHCBA as well to Chairman and all Members of Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana (BCPH) including a copy to Registrar General of High Court urging for inclusion of NOTA (None Of The Above) option on all ballot papers in Bar Association Elections.

Hemant asserted that he has done the same as a public spirited individual committed for the cause of upholding of Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression as enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India which is conferred upon every Citizen of India and also in utter regard of the historic judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as delivered in Re: People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Anr Vs Union of India and Anr. ( Sep, 2013).

Pertinent to mention that after the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as referred hereinbefore which mandated usage/provision of NOTA option which was although directed in respect of Election of MPs/MLAs, the same was also adopted in due course with respect to all Elections to Municipal Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions across the country.

Hemant opines that ideally in order to uphold the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression as enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India which is conferred upon every Citizen of India, the concept of NOTA ought to be used in case of Elections by Secret Ballot to all Bodies including Bar Associations.

He says that nevertheless true that in case of Bar Association Elections although it is open for any Elector who doesn’t finds contesting Candidate(s) appropriate for his Vote can either skip the Polling i.e. remain absent from Voting itself or else going for the Voting but leaving the Ballot Paper blank i.e. not marking any preference against the name(s) of any contesting Candidates in respect of any Post(s) or else marking preference against all name(s) in all cases such Ballot Paper would be declared invalid however it would be much more appropriate and appreciable if Option of NOTA (None of the Above) is mandatorily provided in all the Ballot Papers itself so that such Elector can come across for Voting and duly casts his Vote by overt expression of his/her dissent by marking his preference against such NOTA option in respect of any or all the Post(s) for which Polling is being conducted.

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