Monday, July 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Govt rejects EC plea
Jurisdiction on poll officials
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, July 16 — The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Dr M.S. Gill, today expressed concern over the Centre’s rejection of the commission’s proposal about disciplinary jurisdiction on officials conducting poll.

Briefing newspersons here, Dr Gill said the Election Commission would approach the Supreme Court for an early hearing in the case which had been pending for a decision for the last seven years. Mr Gill had earlier sought the Centre’s intervention on the issue.

The CEC said the Minister of State for Personnel, Ms Vasundhara Raje, had written to the commission on July 7 stating that it would be “appropriate to leave the matter to the Supreme Court”.

Lamenting the delays over the court verdict, the CEC said that the commission was more concerned in view of assembly poll due in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Pondicherry in early next year.

Describing the development as “back to square one”, Mr Gill said the commission would request the Supreme Court to consider the matter “fast”. He would also urge the Central Government and the Attorney-General to make an appeal to the apex court in this regard.

Mr Gill said Parliament in its wisdom added Section 3oCC and 28A to the Representation of the Peoples Act (RPA), 1950 and 1951, by an amendment in 1989 which made it clear that from the date of notification to the result of elections, the commission would supervise, control and discipline all those involved in the poll.

Mr Gill had earlier sought the Prime Minister’s personal intervention and support to the amendment made by Parliament stating that a “legal fight in the Supreme Court between the government and the commission is not the most appropriate method of carrying forward the Constitution”.

At the just-concluded Governors’ conference, the President and the Prime Minister have also emphasised the role of Governors in strengthening the democracy, the CEC said adding that every political party had expressed concern over the issue at the time of poll. Even at the recently held all-party meeting, all political parties had agreed on the issue, he said.

Reiterating his earlier proposal, Mr Gill said through a simple amendment in the Representation of Peoples Act as soon as the election schedule was announced, the elected government should be replaced by Governor’s rule for two months duration till the election process was over. All recognised parties particularly the major ones should give a serious consideration, he said adding that if the government of the day held consultation with the opposition parties for appointment of Governors then task would be all the more easy.

Mr Gill said the government should also withdraw the case pending before the Supreme Court on the code of conduct after the Punjab High Court verdict in favour of the commission.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |