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Posted at: May 22, 2019, 7:00 AM; last updated: May 22, 2019, 2:38 PM (IST)

Dissent notes to stay in files: EC

Lavasa’s demand turned down by 2:1 decision
Dissent notes to stay in files: EC
(From left) Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, CEC Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra. FILE

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 21

The Election Commission today made it clear that, as per the existing rules and past practices, dissenting views on matters pertaining to the model code of conduct (MCC) would not be made part of orders and would only be mentioned in internal files. A decision in this regard was taken by a 2:1 majority at a meeting of the ‘full Bench’ of the commission.

The commission said, “It was inter alia decided that proceedings of the meeting would be drawn, including views of all commission members. Thereafter, formal instructions to this effect will be issued in consonance with extant laws and rules.”

The meeting was held in the backdrop of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa writing three letters to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, conveying his decision to stay away from proceedings related to the MCC “if dissenting views were not incorporated in the orders”. The third member of the poll panel is Sushil Chandra.

A senior official said, “There is no precedent of recording dissenting views in formal orders. Only the majority decision in case of non quasi-judicial issues like the MCC is communicated to the parties concerned. The divergent opinion is recorded in files.”

Following reports that Lavasa has decided not to attend meetings on MCC matters, Arora had said: “On May 14, it was decided that some groups shall be formed to deliberate on issues that arose in the conduct of 2019 elections, just as after 2014.”

Cannot be made public, says Commission

  • On Tuesday, Ashok Lavasa is learnt to have stuck to his ground, pressing for his demand to include dissenting views in the orders
  • Since copies of orders are sent to complainant and respondents, they become public even if EC does not share it with media
  • EC had maintained that dissent notes cannot be made part of order as the poll code violation cases are not quasi-judicial
  • Lavasa had dissented in several EC decisions involving complaints against PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for alleged code of conduct violation and where they were given a clean chitommission


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