The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging Section 62(5) of the Representation of People Act which deprives prisoners their right to vote.
A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi sought response from the government and Election Commission of India.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Aditya Prasanna Bhattacharya, pointed out that the wording of Section 62(5) uses 'confinement' as the yardstick, thereby, creating several anomalies.
Bhattacharya filing the plea in 2019 challenged 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 which deprives any person confined to a prison of the right to vote at any election.
"No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police," the section states.
The petitioner has argued that the section did not specify if, under trial, a detained person or a person out on bail can exercise their universal adult franchise.
The provision operates as a blanket ban, as it lacks any kind of reasonable classification based on the nature of the crime committed or the duration of the sentence imposed, the petition stated.
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