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HC seeks reply on jail inmates’ voting rights

‘Denying them the franchise against spirit of Constitution’

March 09, 2019 01:10 am | Updated 01:10 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre, Election Commission of India, DG Prisons Tihar, Ministry of Law and Justice and others on a plea seeking to grant and facilitate voting rights to all jail inmates across the country.

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao also asked the Home Ministry to respond to the petition filed by three law students.

The petition, filed through advocate Kamlesh Mishra, has challenged the constitutionality of section 62(5) of Representation of People Act, which deprives prisoners their right to vote.

The three law students — Praveen Kumar Chaudhary, Atul Kumar Dubey and Prerna Singh — contended in their plea that blanket ban on right to vote of prisoners is violation of the spirit and soul enshrined in the Constitution and also to the basic principle of equality.

The plea said the denial of voting rights will ostracise the prisoners from the mainstream political-decision making of the world’s largest democracy. The petition said all the persons in any kind of confinement either in the jails or police station or at any other place shall be allowed to vote.

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