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Voters are entitled to know the basic details of the candidates- Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court, while disposing of a petition relating to visibility of political party’s symbol on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), stated that for an election to be free and fair, voters should be aware of the name, photograph and symbol of candidates with utmost clarity.

The bench observed that this requirement of election is underestimated and is against the rights of voters as they are entitled to be well-informed before making a choice for their representatives.

The instant petition had been filed by a registered unrecognized political party, Twenty20, wherein they claimed that the name, photograph and symbol of its candidates in three assembly constituencies were not clearly visible in the EVMs which are supposed to be used for the Kerala Legislative Assembly polls scheduled on April 6, 2021.

The petitioner emphasized that it is the constitutional right of a voter to know the basic details of the candidates, however, their party’s candidate’s details were not as clear as that of other parties. Basing upon this, the petitioner sought for a direction to Election Commission in order to ensure that all parties’ details are clear and visible.

The opposite party, representing Election Commission, presented a photograph of the EVM wherein the name and symbol of respective party was quite clear and thus submitted that any interference from court of law would affect the free flow of election.

The bench, after considering the submissions of both the parties, stated that any direction to the respondents at this stage might slow down the election process and thus denied giving any direction to Election Commission.

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