The Supreme Court (SC) has agreed to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging a provision of the Representation of People Act, which deprives prisoners their right to vote.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi posted the hearing in the matter after two weeks. The SC also asked the petitioner, a law student, to appraise why he picked up the particular cause that too under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.
"Before we entertain this petition under Article 32, filed as public interest litigation, we would like to know more about the petitioner; his interest in the subject matter and why he has picked up this particular cause to be raised and that too by an Article 32 petition," the Bench said in its order while clarifying that the query has no connections with the merits of the contentions raised in the petition.
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to an individual to move to the SC to seek justice when they feel their right has been 'unduly deprived'.
Petitioner Aditya Prasanna Bhattacharya through his petition challenged 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951. "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.
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