Recently Gujarat High Court has directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to spread awareness about NOTA (none of the above) option available to voters before upcoming elections to rural and semi-urban local bodies of 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities is scheduled for November 29 in the state during second phase of elections.
Hearing a PIL public interest litigation, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice VM Pancholi asked the SEC to carry out a region-wise publicity drive till November 27 using various media. To reach out to a maximum number of voters, the High Court asked the SEC to place advertisements in at least two leading newspapers on radio and on television in every region on or before November 27.
The court’s directions came on a PIL claims that the SEC has not taken enough steps to make people aware of how to use NOTA in the coming polls. Citing an earlier judgement of the Gujarat High Court, the PIL says that the SEC should have conducted a publicity drive, using TV advertisements, banners, etc, to educate the voters about NOTA.