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Right To Vote Is A Constitutional Right: Justice KM Joseph’s Disagreement With Election Commission Of India

New Delhi: On Wednesday, 23rd of November, 2022, Justice K.M. Joseph, a judge of the Supreme court, expressed his disagreement with the Election Commission of India. The counsel of the Election Commission of India said that the right to vote is not a constitutional right but rather a statutory right. And Justice Joseph, opposing him, stated that the right to vote is constitutional.

What Was The Case?

It all happened when the attorney of the Election Commission of India claimed that the right to vote is a statutory right in front of a five-judge panel. That panel included Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, and CT Ravikumar.

 

On hearing this, Justice K.M. Joseph asked the attorney what he had to say about Article 326 of the Indian Constitution. After that, Justice Joseph further requested the attorney to read Article 326 aloud in the courtroom.

What Happened Afterwards?

After referring to Article 326 of the Indian Constitution, Justice Joseph stated that it clearly says, “shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.” He then questioned the counsel whether he was stating that the legislative authority of the parliament would, in any case, suppress the Constitution.

Furthermore, he added that the fundamental element is that the Constitution contemplates granting the right. It was initially 21 years, but it was eventually cut to 18 years, he said. And that’s why he claimed that it might not be accurate to state that the right to vote is merely a statutory right.

And after all this, Justice Joseph further stated to the Election Commission’s attorney that the right to vote is a constitutional right.

What The Election Commission’s Counsel Had To Say?

After listening to Justice Joseph and being questioned by him, the attorney of the Election Commission of India put forth his points. He retorted that precedents have demonstrated that voting is solely a statutory right.

But, even after hearing this, Justice Joseph further argued that Article 326’s impact must be determined.

The Supreme court made these inferences while deliberating on several petitions calling for the selection of the CEC and ECs through a collegium-like process. And, as it has yet to conclude Justice Joseph’s claim that the right to vote is a constitutional right, it will continue to do so on Thursday.

 

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