Madras High Court refuses to direct govt to make casting of votes compulsory

The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court refused a petition seeking to direct the Union government to punish the voters, who did not cast their votes during elections.

A petitioner D Kumaresh from Chennai, moved the Madras High Court to direct the Cabinet Secretary, Secretariat, Rashtrapathy Bhavan to recommend to the parliament to make suitable amendments in the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, for compulsory voting.

The first division bench of the Madras High Court (MHC) comprising Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice P D Audikesavalu. Additional Solicitor General ARL Sundaresan submitted that the private member’s bill similar to the petitioner’s prayer was rejected in the parliament.

The Government Pleader Muthukumar said that the casting of a vote is an individual’s decision and their liberty, it cannot be compelled.

The petitioner contended that the Indian government is spending more than Rs.1000 crores for each parliament election, unfortunately, more than 40 percent of voters are not casting their vote.

The urban population and the so-called education community are enjoying the privileges and benefits of the government but failing to cast their votes, the petitioner said.