Delhi HC dismisses PIL seeking voting rights for prisoners

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) seeking voting rights for prisoners. Petitioners submitted that the facility was provided under the law and it can not be taken away by law.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said, the Supreme Court has held that the right to cast vote is neither a fundamental right nor a common law right and is only provided by a statute. The bench observed the right to vote provided under the statute Representation of the People Act and is subject to restrictions imposed by the law. It said, this restriction does not allow prisoners to cast vote from jails.

The high court said in view of the apex court rulings and the statutory position, it finds no reason to entertain the plea and dismissed it. The decision came on a plea by three law students seeking voting rights for all persons lodged in jails across the country. Earlier, the Election Commission opposed the plea, saying prisoners do not have voting rights under the Act and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court. 

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