Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to increase the efforts to create awareness about NOTA (none of the above) option ahead of the coming elections to rural and semi-urban local bodies in the state.
Hearing a public interest litigation, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice VM Pancholi asked the SEC to carry out a region-wise publicity drive till November 27 using various media.
The polling for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities is scheduled for November 29.
To reach out to a maximum number of voters, the High Court asked the SEC to place advertisements in at least two leading newspapers in every region on or before November 27.
The judges also directed the SEC to put out advertisements on leading regional news channels.
The court's directions came on a PIL filed by advocate KR Koshti who claims that the SEC has not taken enough steps to make people aware of how to use NOTA in the coming polls.
Citing an earlier judgement of the Gujarat High Court, the PIL says that the SEC should have conducted a publicity drive, using TV advertisements, banners, etc, to educate the voters about NOTA.
On October 30, while hearing another PIL, the High Court had directed the SEC to include the NOTA option for coming local body polls.