Madras High Court: Every Person has a Right to Cast Vote

April 08, 2021

The Madras High Court heard a public interest litigation filed to ensure that persons engaged primarily in the unorganized sector and in private employment are afforded a chance to participate in the exercise of voting at ensuing State elections. The petitioner pointed out that even though Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandated that election day would be a paid holiday for employees engaged in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and who are entitled to vote, as a matter of fact, employers do not allow the concerned employees to take a day off and there is little done in the enforcement of the provision. In response to this, the Election Commission said that the fine is so insignificant (Rs 500) that the provision does not work effectively as a deterrent.