œ STAFF REPORTER MUMBAI: Petitioner Mahesh Bedekar filed Public Interest Litigation ( PIL) urging the Bombay High Court on Friday to ensure that secrecy of the negative vote is maintained during elections According to the PIL, under the existing
rules when a voter opts for not casting a vote he has to inform the Presiding Officer, thereby running the risk of having his identity revealed to others, especially polling agents of political parties who are supervising the election, which is dangerous for the voter.
The petitioneralt39s plea is that Rule 49( O) of Conduct of Election Rules should be modified so as to maintain the secrecy of negative voting and protect the identity of voters who intend to express their lack of faith in the contesting candidates, by not voting without violating right to express and right to vote as their fundamental rights.
The petitioneralt39s lawyer S M Gorwadkar told FPJ that the PIL would come before the HC next week, and it was very important to have the negative vote in the voting machine which does not disclose the identity of the voter placing negative vote. It has been observed that political party workers threaten the voters who do not cast their vote.”