The issue of ‘Electoral Reforms’ has been referred by the Central Government to the Law Commission of India for consideration and for suggesting comprehensive measures for changes in laws relating to elections. Acknowledging the importance of the subject, the Commission has prepared a Consultation Paper eliciting feedback from various stakeholders.
The election system comprises a complex web of different nuances – legal, political, economic, social, religious, ethical and moral and this complexity makes the task of suggesting reforms quite challenging. No single aspect of election process can be looked at in isolation from others. Most, if not all areas of these aspects, are of the nature where law either interacts or need to interact more closely. The focus of the Consultation Paper is, therefore, to identify those areas and aspects where law should play more prominent and engaging role.
The Commission proposes to focus largely on issues such as: qualifications/disqualifications of those seeking election, or disqualification of the persons already elected; modes, methods and quantum of funding of elections; transparency, accountability and sources of spending by political parties and their respective candidates during elections; regulations and ethical conduct of political parties or candidates participating in elections; filing of false affidavits – A ground for disqualification; electronic and print Media – impact of ‘paid news’; quantum of punishment for electoral offences; and adjudication of election disputes etc.
The Commission, through the Consultation Paper, has solicited views/suggestions of political parties, states, civil society, and all other stakeholders, inter-alia, on the aforesaid issues.
The Consultation Paper has been made available on the website of the Law Commission of India –http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in and can be downloaded freely.
Those desirous of submitting comments/suggestions may send their written comments/suggestions to the Secretary, Law Commission of India, Hindustan Times House, 14th Floor, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110001 by E-mail: email@example.com or by hand/post latest by 30th June, 2013.
Wrote on 21 June 2013
Before declaring any election, areawise ten candidate of every party should be made and after written examination and police verification, such candidates list should be prepared by election commission. also waiting list of every party and areawise candidates should be prepared for election. This exercise should be made before one year of election. This exercise is suggested like any Government Recruitment.
Wrote on 20 June 2013
1) The E.C.should have power to disqualify a candidate when a case of corruption/criminal offence is pending against him/her in a court of law.
2) A sitting representative of the people to should be dismissed from membership of arliament/legislature as he/she is convicted in a court of law.
3) All donations to a political party should be transparent and through checks only. The donations received should be published for public information through websites or print media.
4) RTI shall be applicable to political parties, particularly with respect to election funding.
Wrote on 04 June 2013
Wish to suggest few points relating to election reforms. Recently elections in Gujarat were held. Political parties and different candidates booked all TV channels. Since some time before in India Private Radio Stations [PRS] have been established by different groups of business classes. Theses PRS requested the Election Commission to allow them to broadcast advertisements [ads] on radio channels. The Commission refused to allow on the ground that the All India Radio now Akashvani is banned to advertise the election ads. Out dated circular was the basis for the same.
Times have changed. TV channels have been established. These channels are broad casting ads for election campaign. Why private radios and DurDarshan be prevented from doing so? Since the Private Radio Stations are not allowed to broadcast news hence the only source for them is ads. This is also because ones they are allowed to broad caste news they can earn also by black mailing. [Let govt. may not allow it]
Govt.has accepted the policy of liberalization and hence it has by implication accepted the principle of consumerism and materialism also. Let govt. earn revenue and let PRS be allowed to earn money.
Now a days people have no time to attend public meetings to hear lectures by leaders and this is also due to large area of cities and law and order problem every were. People would like to switch on radio or TV channels of their choice and hear political discourses and may grow wiser also. The standard of discussion may grow high also. The only restriction should be no one should be allowed to pass any personal remarks against any one.
Whenever elections are likely to be declared for a state or for Parliament the govt. should start new channels and allow politicians to advertise on these channels also and radio stations also.
No political party and person contesting elections should be allowed to woo voters by announcing any remissions or other concessions or allowing to fore go and waive some recovery of taxes and other dues and liabilities. The reason is simple. By doing so these political parties and persons wants to come back to power at the cost of taxpayers. As they announce to remit liabilities to a class of persons and other general public is heavily taxed and are put to loss to their money and at their cost politicians enjoy power. The burning illustration may be sited of electricity bills and waiver of 600 crorers of agricultural loan. If it is done then it creates law and order situation and maintenance of public order situation critical. No such announcements should be permitted for a particular class of persons.
The Constitutional authorities and Constitutional functionaries who are paid servants and receives pay and perks or honorarium should not be allowed to contest any election to the elective bodies [of any type where public representation is necessary] for 5 years from their retirement or resignation or otherwise when they cease to be so. I can note two examples. First of a Supreme Court Judge who resigned in the mid night as judge and next day he filed his nomination papers as Congress candidate for Rajah Sabha and was naturally elected. The second example is from M.P. Where one Congress MLA was appointed as High Court Judge and after his retirement become member of Administrative Tribunal and on one fine "evening” he tendered resignation and next day he filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha on Congress ticket and was elected. This means as judges they had political approach and bargain also. What the conduct shows?
The same principle should be applied with all govt. servants including bodies controlled by govt. and local self-govts.
The purpose is the public should be free from any pressure and any type of impression on their mind.
No one should be allowed to contest elections from two constituencies and if on some occasion it happens that sate legislative elections are conducted simultaneously with parliamentary elections one can chose to file nomination for either of the two and not for both. If some one wants to file nomination for two seats of what ever nature then one has to deposit Rs. 5 lakh [non refundable] and if the candidate looses election in one of the constituency he will be deemed to have lost in both the constituencies and the candidate who stands next to him with more votes shall be deemed to be elected.
There should be no age limit to participate in politics, but a candidate shall not be allowed to contest any election after two terms for elective bodies. Therefore one may be a politician at any age and may retire as such at any age, this would not make any difference. Once a person is barred from contesting elections he will be least interested in active politics.
It should be made compulsory to submit statement by way of affidavit that how many shares of which company were obtained at par directly from company and other persons. It is a fact that now days it is a common thing to get shares at par and the companies oblige few and few oblige few companies. This is also the mode of corruption.
No family member of the elective person should be allowed to contest Parliamentary or assembly election from the same constituency from where he contested and won. This will cease to make the constituency as Jahagiri [Zamindari-propritership]. Family member should include father, mother, wife and children
The political parties, which are interested to get votes of people, are least interested to get their names incorporated in it. The workers never play active role in the preparation of the same. They just make hue and cry about not insertion or insertion of bogus votes. Addition of names after due verification is most important job to be performed but the political workers do not take interest in it. They never go door to door to check as to whether the names are properly added or not. Every corporater or every member of the ward should see that the names of the voters of the area are included and no bogus voters are added. If this were done the things would be easy. This work of amending the voters’ lists should be done in a routine manner so that lists are maintain in up date manner.
Everywhere and in all private and public offices forms should be made available so that the persons concerned may be able to get their applications for adding and may apply through the office head and the concerned persons from election office may approach them and get the ID cards prepared. This is most pious work, which is of very importance to maintain the democracy. In the present day life people have no time to see that his name is included in the voters list. The Babudom is least interested in work and therefore no one takes any interest in the same. During census period people are employed temporally to assist work. On the same footing few persons in every department should be appointed for the said job.
There should be no subsidy from govt.to the political parties. Firstly because the political parties have their existence on black money otherwise they would not have opposed to audit of the accounts and they would have made the accounts open to public. Secondly by funding them also the purpose would not be served. Any amount provided would be insufficient, as unearned money remains insufficient. Why common person be taxed for the same. It is sure that these parties would not stop corruption even if they are funded and came to power. No purpose would be served. Instead of that these parties may be allowed to use TV and Radio for long hours. That will not charge the public with taxes as these programmers can be sponsored by corporate world and that money would certainly be white money.
Family planning is national programme and it is to be adopted by all irrespective of caste, creed etc. According to norms two children is maximum and therefore for any elective post of any kind a person should not be eligible to contest election or for nomination to elective bodies if he has more than two children 280 days after enacting law. This will help the nation and those who aspire for elections will obey law. This was a good provision in M.P. but the present govt. enacted the law with reference to Panchayat Act and committed blunder.
All political parties should decide that the women reservation bill should be passed in the budgetary session of the Parliament so that necessary formalities may be completed by the next ensuing elections. The present representation in Parliament or legislative assemblies is not more than 10%. In India 50 of the population is Women population and the political parties do not give tickets to women as their contacts with general public are not much and hence public does not know women candidates as such. There fore it should be made incumbent for political parties to give tickets in the ratio of 70-30 to women. For last so many years the political parties are only promising the womenfolk but no party is ready to do so. Last time the BJP laid govt. was just to move the bill but the Parliament was dissolved. Present govt. had come with this agenda that women folk shall be given 33%reservation but till now nothing could be done. Wish that political parties shall rise above party politics and shall pass the bill.
All persons who are facing trials under Sections 302,304,304 B, kidnapping -abduction, dacoit with murder, offences under NDPS, and other like offences should not be given tickets for any election and should not be nominated for the same.
However persons facing trials in cases of political agitations should be exempted. Least of offences should be prepared and the said offences should be defined as heinous offences for the purpose of the elections. Ones the court has framed charge, till decision of the case that person should not be allowed to contest elections. Present law in this respect be amended accordingly
Thousands of employees are engaged in election duties and there by prevented from casting votes. The simple procedure should be followed so that each and every one is able to cast vote at the booth near to his election duty is. It is not necessary that a voter should vote in his constituency. What is necessary is voter should cast vote. Therefore the employee should be given an authority letter along with his duty order that he is entitle to vote in any booth where his duty is fixed. If this is done in right way all employed in election duties will be able to vote and that will be in the interest of the nation. All military personnel should also be given such certificate to vote. Persons on mobile duty are also permitted to vote wherever they think proper to vote in the area they are posted. Necessary rules with positive approach should be framed.
Change to the 10th schedule of the Constitution is also necessary. If a candidate Amendment to has been elected on a party ticket he should act according to the directions of the party and should honor the whip. If a member acts against the directions of the party then at the instance of the party the Speaker/ Chairman/ mayor of any presiding of any elective body will have to disqualify the member. This right shall be in addition to any other right with the presiding officer .The member is elected in the banner of a particular party and he has to work under the direction of the party. If he is not in agreement with the party he should resign from the elective post. There are so many members in the elective houses but for want of such rule they cannot be removed from the elective bodies. Necessary rules in this regard can be framed.
No party should be allowed to give ticket to such person who is not member of the party for less than one year. If any person leaves some party and joins other party such person should also not be given ticket unless he is member of new party for at least two years. If any independent person who has won the election wants to join ruling party or other party would be required to resign. No independent member should be made minister or cannot hold any post of minister ship or like nature or chairman etc. of any committee. If it is done the politicians who want to make politics a business may not dare to enter politics.
Those parties that have all India recognition may be allowed to contest all Lok Sabha seats and be allowed to fill candidates of its choice. But the parties that have no such recognition should not be allowed to fill candidates for Lok Sabha unless they have been members of any Legislative assembly. No independent candidate should be allowed to contest Lok Sabha election unless he had contested any Vidhan Sabha election and had at least secured 30 votes of the total poled votes.
And for Vidhan Sabha independent candidate should not be allowed to contest election unless he had contested civic election and had secured at least 30 percent votes of the total votes polled Candidates who looses election and also looses security deposit should be barred from contesting any legislative election for next five years. Candidates loosing any legislative election should not be allowed to contest Rajaya Sabha or Vidhan Parishad elections for next five years.
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