Time for comprehensive review of electoral law: CEC

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Indian’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi said on Saturday that time has come to undertake comprehensive review of the Representation of the People Act and also called for suggestions from legal fraternity.

“It is also being felt that Election Commission should undertake comprehensive review of the Representation of People Act in view of issues and challenges before it and come up with Draft Bill which then go through the motion of examination by competent authority in due course to time,” he said in his inaugural address at the “National Interactive Conference on Electoral Laws – Strategic vision for future” Laws being organised by the Election Commission of India.

“Comprehensive review of the RP Act is overdue for past few decades,” he said.

Stating that the poll panel’s legal research wing is also undertaking comparative study of electoral laws in comparable democracies, Zaidi said: “This is another important area which need to be addressed in very systematic manner. 47 proposals of Electoral reforms sent by the ECI from time to time for law making have also been examined by the Law Commission and many proposals have been endorsed for legislation.”

Listing out important ones pertaining to decriminalisation of politics, prevention of abuse of money, transparency in funding of political parties, Zaidi said that these recommendations of the ECI and Law Commission are being scrutinised by a task force in the Law Ministry and outcome is eagerly awaited.

In order to deal with new issues during conduct of elections in the absence of availability of legal provision in relevant laws, he proposed relevant laws should be considered for amendment by Law Ministry once well considered proposals are forwarded by the ECI.

“We feel that there should be well defined electoral laws rather than using residuary powers under Art 324 (of the Constitution) frequently and ofcourse ECI will not hesitate to invoke Art 324 in the interest of purity of election.”

The conference was attended by senior officers of the ECI, Chief Electoral officers and legal counsels of the ECI from all states.

–IANS

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