National News

EC Makes Fresh Push For Electoral Reforms With Law Ministry

New Delhi: The Election Fee on Tuesday made a recent push for electoral reforms with the federal government, together with making paid information and false affidavits electoral offences.

In a gathering with Legislative Secretary G Narayan Raju, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and fellow Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra additionally mentioned linking of voters checklist or electoral roll with Aadhaar numbers to scrub up duplicate entries, a ballot panel assertion mentioned.

In a letter to the Regulation Ministry, the fee lately proposed that provisions of the Illustration of the Individuals Act be amended to permit EC to hunt Aadhaar numbers of these making use of to be voters and people who are already a part of the electoral rolls, sources within the ballot panel defined.

Accepting the proposal to offer it authorized backing to gather Aadhaar information, the Regulation Ministry is learnt to have requested the ballot panel to make sure that the information is protected at a number of ranges.

The EC lately listed out steps to guard the information from doable leaks.

The ballot panel additionally pitched for having a couple of qualification date in a 12 months for an individual to grow to be a voter the assertion mentioned.

At current, January 1 is the one date yearly for an individual to qualify as a voter. The EC needs a number of dates in order that extra individuals turning 18 years of age can apply to grow to be voters all year long.

A press release by the Election Fee mentioned Arora reminded the Regulation Ministry brass that there are greater than 40 totally different proposals of electoral reforms that are “pending since long”.

One other proposal that the EC pressed for on Tuesday is making electoral legislation gender-neutral for armed forces personnel, the assertion mentioned.

As of now, a military man’s spouse is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, however a girl military officer’s husband will not be, based on the provisions within the electoral legislation.

A invoice which lapsed following the dissolution of the earlier Lok Sabha proposes to interchange the time period ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the supply gender-neutral.

Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outdoors their state and staff of the Centre posted outdoors India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.

Sources within the ballot panel identified that different proposals pending with the federal government embrace making submitting of false declaration a floor for disqualification and placing a cap on expenditure by candidates in legislative council polls within the coming days.

The EC has additionally requested the federal government to make bribery throughout ballot interval a cognisable offence.

Whereas the Regulation Ministry is the executive ministry for the EC, the Legislative Division is the nodal unit for points associated to the ballot panel.

Referring to the difficulty of submitting false declaration, the sources mentioned, as of now, it attracts six months’ jail time period, however the EC needs to make it an “electoral offence”.

Conviction in an electoral offence is a floor for disqualification. “Jail term of six months does not instil fear, disqualification will,” one other official defined.

As of now, candidates contesting legislative council elections don’t have a bar on campaigning bills, which, the EC needs to place a cap on.

The expenditure ought to be half of what’s allowed for candidates contesting meeting polls. Each state has a distinct expenditure restrict based mostly on its measurement, variety of voters and meeting seats.

As of right this moment, bribery in elections is a non-cognisable offence the place an investigation can not happen with no Justice of the Peace’s permission. The EC needs to make it a cognisable offence and produce within the class of “serious” crimes like homicide, dowry, loss of life, and rape.

The legislative secretary assured that the ministry is already inspecting these proposals, the assertion mentioned.

(PTI)

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