Secrecy of vote a must in any election: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of men convicted for rioting at a poll booth in Jharkhand.
Details of the Judgement
- The Supreme Court held that in any election, be it to Parliament or State legislature, the maintenance of secrecy of voting is “a must”
About Secrecy, Election and Democracy
- Secrecy is a part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression
- The confidentiality of choice strengthened democracy
- Booth capturing and/or bogus voting should be dealt with iron hands, because it affects the rule of law and democracy
- Democracy and free elections are a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution
- The essence of the electoral system should be to ensure freedom of voters to exercise their free choice
Basic Structure Doctrine
- The basic structure doctrine is a common law legal doctrine that the constitution of a sovereign state has certain characteristics that cannot be erased by its legislature
- In Kesavananda Bharati case, Supreme Court propounded that the Constitution of India has certain basic features that cannot be altered or destroyed through amendments by the Parliament of India.
- Key among these “basic features” are the fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals by the constitution.
- The doctrine thus forms the basis of the power of the Supreme Court of India to review and strike down constitutional amendments and acts enacted by the Parliament which conflict with or seek to alter this “basic structure” of the Constitution.
- The basic features of the Constitution have not been explicitly defined by the Judiciary, and the claim of any particular feature of the Constitution to be a “basic” feature is determined by the Court in each case that comes before it.