Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Law and Justice
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

 

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRRED QUESTION NO.2864
TO BE ANSWERED ON 29TH AUGUST, 2011
Election Commission’s Report on Electoral Reforms

 

2864. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:

 

Will the MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE be pleased to state:

 

(a)    Whether the Election Commission of India has submitted a report on India’s proposed Electoral Reforms in 2004;

 

(b)   If so, the details thereof;

 

(c)    Whether Government proposes to implement any of the proposals contained in the report; and

 

(d)   If so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?

 

 

ANSWER
MINISTERS OF LAW AND JUSTICE
(SHRI SALMAN KHURSHID)

 

 

(a)    To (d) : a statement is laid on the table of the house

 

 

 

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLIES TO PARTS (A) TO (D) OF THE RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2864 FOR ANSWERING ON THE 29TH AUGUST, 2011

 

(a)    Yes, sir

 

(b)   The Election Commission had submitted a set of twenty-two proposals on electoral reforms to the hon’ble prime minister on 5th July, 2004. The brief details  of the proposals are as under:-

 

(i)     Merger of affidavits to be filed by candidates on criminal antecedents, assets, etc.,

 

(ii)   Disqualifying a person on framing of charges by the competent court,

 

(iii) Exit polls/ opinion polls

 

(iv)  Prohibition  of surrogate advertisements in print media,

 

(v)    Negative voting

 

(vi)  Compulsory  maintenance of accounts by political parties and audit thereof by agencies specified by the election commission of India

 

(vii)                         Government sponsored advertisements,

 

(viii) Political advertisements on television and cable network,

 

(ix)  Composition of election commission of India and constitutional protection of all members of the commission and independent secretariat for the commission,

 

(x)    Charging of expenses of election commission of India on consolidated fund of India,

 

(xi)  Ban on transfer of election officers on the eve of election,

 

(xii)   Need to increase the security deposit of candidates,

 

(xiii) Restriction on the number of seats from which one may contest,

 

(xiv) Appointment of appellate authority in districts against orders of electoral registration officers,

 

(xv)All officials appointed in connection with conduct of elections to be included in clause (7) of section 123 of the R.P. Act, 1951,

 

(xvi) Empowering the Election Commission of India to decide on the matters relating to disqualification under the tenth schedule to the constitution,

 

(xvii)                    Use of common electoral rolls at elections conducted by the Election Commission of India and the state election commissions,

 

(xviii)Simplification of procedure for disqualification of a person found guilty of corrupt practice,

 

(xix) Same number of proposers for all contesting candidates,

 

(xx)Making of false declaration in connection with elections to be offence,

 

(xxi) Rule making authority to be vested in election commission of India and

 

(xxii)    Strengthening of existing provisions relaying to registration and de-registration of political parties.

 

(c ) to (d): out of these, 5 proposals have been implemented vide the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2009 (41 of 2009) by amending the relevant provisions of (i) the representation of people act, 1950 so as to provide for appointment of appellate authority in districts against the orders of electoral registration officers; and (ii) the representation of the people act, 1951 so as to (a) increase in the security deposit of candidates; (b) banning of exit polls till all the phases of elections are over; ( c) all officials appointed in connection with the conduct of elections to be included in clause (7) of section 123 thereof; and (d) simplification of the procedure for disqualification of a person found guilty of corrupt practices.

 

Regarding other recommendations of the commission, a core – committee was constituted on the 1st October, 2010 under the chairmanship of an additional solicitor general, with a view to impacting comprehensive electoral reforms. The talking points of the committee included (i) criminalization of politics; (ii) funding of elections; (iii) conduct and better management of elections; (iv) regulation of political parties; (v) audit and finances of political parties; (vi) review of anti- defection law; =. The committee under the aegis of legislative department and in co – sponsorship of the election commission of India conducted seven regional consultations at Bhopal, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Guwahati, wherein the stakeholders have been consulted, who inter – alia included leaders and workers of the political parties, legislators, legal luminaries, representatives of NGOs, eminent persons, civil servants ( serving and retired), students etc., and views have been gathered. On the basis of the inputs received in all these consultations, legislative process as may be considered necessary will be initiated by the government in due course.