Gujarat HC stays implementation of compulsory voting Act in local polls
Gujarat High Court has stayed implementation of the compulsory voting in the panchayat and municipal polls under the provision of Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009.
Ruling in this regard was given by High Court Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.
- Gujarat had become the first state in India to make voting compulsory in local polls after Governor O.P. Kohli gave assent to Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 in November 2014.
- The law had strict provision mentioning that any person in state, who does not vote in the local body polls, will be liable for penal action and punishment.
- It also had empowered the State Election Commission to declare an absent voter as defaulter, except in case person out of station or illness.
- Subsequently, State government also had framed rules for implementation of this Act by pertaining to the penal actions to be initiated against those who do not exercise their franchise in the municipal and district panchayat polls.