Supreme Court rejects petition seeking breathalyser tests for voters at polling stations


PTI, Apr 10, 2024, 11:46 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking a breathalyser test of voters in queue at every polling booth during the elections.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta refused to interfere with the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing the petition and said, ”It is more of a publicity interest litigation”.

Counsel appearing for the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Janavahini Party said since the model code of conduct is imposed, no voter should be allowed to vote under the influence of alcohol.

The bench said, ”What is this? It is for publicity. On polling day it is a dry day and police personnel are deployed everywhere. We will not entertain this. Dismissed.” The Andhra Pradesh unit of the Janavahini Party has initially moved the high court, which had dismissed the plea on February 28.

The high court has said the petitioner has failed to draw its attention to any specific legal provision which would make it obligatory for the Election Commission of India, to ensure that every person who enters a polling booth is subjected to a breathalyser test before a person is permitted to cast his/her vote.

The political party has challenged the inaction on the part of the Election Commission on its representation dated January 6 seeking the arrangement of a breathing analyser at the entry point of the queue being maintained at every polling booth and allowing only those voters to exercise their voting right, who are uninfluenced by alcohol.

It has sought direction to the poll panel to arrange a breathing analyser at the entry point of queues at polling booths and allow only those voters to exercise their voting right, who are uninfluenced by alcohol.

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