High Court dismisses petition seeking voting rights for prisoners

The Delhi High Court has rejected a petition seeking voting rights for prisoners noting that the right to cast vote was neither a fundamental right nor a common law right and was only provided by a statute.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar remarked that the facility was provided under the law and it can be taken away by law as held by the Supreme Court.

The Bench noted the right to vote provided under the statute — Representation of the People Act — was subject to restrictions imposed by the law, which does not allow prisoners to cast vote from jails.

The decision came on a plea by three law students — Praveen Kumar Chaudhary, Atul Kumar Dubey and Prerna Singh — seeking voting rights for all persons lodged in jails across the country.

The three law students contended in their plea that a blanket ban on the prisoners right to vote was a violation of the spirit and soul enshrined in the Constitution and the basic principle of equality.

They challenged the constitutionality of Section 62(5) of the RP Act, which deprives prisoners of their right to vote.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had informed the High Court that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of People Act.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 10:52:19 AM |

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