EC takes the law commission recommendations forward, but don’t expect much from political parties
GN Bureau | March 31, 2015
The law commission presented its 255th report, on electoral reforms, on March 12, with some bold recommendations to make democracy more meaningful and thriving. It should have generated a debate. But, like several reports on this crucial subject in the past, the political parties have largely ignored it.
An exhaustive analysis and criticism of the law commission report:
For a thriving democracy
The cover story of the April 1-15 edition of Governance Now
Against this backdrop, it is heartening to note that the election commission (EC) has taken the first step of organizing a national consultation on ‘political finance and law commission recommendations’, held in Vigyan Bhawan on March 30.
The seminar was attended by law commission chairman justice AP Shah, former chief election commissioners Lyngdoh, Krishnamurthy, Gopalaswami, Chawla and Quraishi, former chief information commissioner Satyanand Mishra, former CBDT member SS Khan, as well as representatives of political parties, lawyers, academicians, and members of civil society.
After opening remarks by election commissioner Nasim Zaidi and address by chief election commissioner HS Brahma, justice Shah gave an overview of the recommendations on political finance.
The event had technical sessions on four topics: international best practices on political finance, law commission recommendations and expanding in-kind government subsidy during election campaign; recommendations on contribution to political parties and candidates and law commission recommendations and reforms on accounting and disclosure of election expenses by parties, candidates and third party campaigners and reforms on vote buying.
The day-long consultation concluded with an address by Brahma and Zaidi.
According to a press release, the consultation groups arrived at broad consensus on some of these issues:
1. ‘Big Money’ in elections to be controlled
2. ‘Vote buying’ to be controlled within law
3. Transparency of accounts of parties/candidates
4. No corporate donation to political party.
5. Formation of a National Electoral Trust under the control of the election commission for corporate donations.
6. EC to be given power to make rules.
7. Third-party campaigners to be monitored.
8. Fast-track courts to try election offences.
The detailed report on National Consultation will be compiled and will be made available on the EC website, the release said.
While the consultation at least starts off the much-needed discussion of the law commission recommendations, leading political parties are yet to even react to the report, much less take action. For obvious reasons, the parties have shown little inclination to bring in reforms in electoral practices, and much of the way forward is solely in their hands, as their word is final in law-making.
At the outset, for those who are not familiar with the nomenclature ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, it refers to the low economic growth in post-independent India till the 1990s, when several economic liberalisation measures were undertaken. Till the 1990s, the growth rate was around 4%, which accelera
As India faces increasing threats from China and Pakistan on sea, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, has said that the Indian Navy needs to scale up its capabilities and have more budgets allocated. Speaking to members of t
In view of the emerging threat of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Saturday issued strict guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers arriving in the metro and especially those from ‘at risk’ nations. Outlining SO
A day after the union health secretary wrote to it that its order on SOPs for air travellers was in divergence with guidelines issued by the MoHFW, GoI in view of the Omicron threat, the Maharashtra government on Thursday revised its guidelines for passengers arriving in the state. Issuing
With the threat of Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, looming large, the union health ministry has written to the Maharashtra government to align orders issued by the state with the ministry’s guidelines for uniform implementation. The state government in its order dated Nove
To ensure bigger access to farm produce and provide new markets with quick transportation and subsidy at 50%, the Kisan Rail has been bringing prosperity, joy, and hope to farmers of Maharashtra. On November 28, the Central Railway ran its 800th trip of Kisan Rail from Sangola to Muzaffarpur.