The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to Election Commission of India to put handcuffs symbols on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to help voters identify candidates with criminal antecedents.

“We cannot tell them (the Election Commission of India) to put a handcuff symbol,” a bench presided over by CJI DY Chandrachud told the PIL litigant appearing in-person.

“You can withdraw this and pursue whatever your remedies are,” added the bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

Granting liberty to the petitioner to explore “administrative remedies” as are permissible in law, the apex court dismissed the petition as withdrawn.

In its order, the Supreme Court recorded that the prayers raised in the petition raised a “policy issue” and therefore, it would not be inclined to entertain the PIL.

The plea filed by a Nagpur-based lawyer said that putting ‘handcuffs’ symbol will help a voter to properly identify candidates with criminal antecedents at the time of voting as such an information is part of the right to information of a voter as guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India.

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