All 62 on board killed as plane crashes in Rus­sia Can­di­dates’ in­come source de­tails: EC, par­ties at odds ATS ASKS STATE FOR 1-3 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HOAX CALL­ERS

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HINDUSTAN TIMES - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Sagar Ra­jput sagar.ra­jput@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Political par­ties op­posed on Satur­day a pro­posal that can­di­dates dis­close their source of in­come be­fore con­test­ing polls, one of sev­eral ideas floated by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to clean up the coun­try’s elec­toral process.

In a closed-door con­sul­ta­tion with 35 political par­ties in­clud­ing the BJP and the Congress over a slew of pro­posed elec­toral re­forms, the Com­mis­sion has also sought to hike the se­cu­rity de­posit for con­test­ing elec­tions as a de­ter­rent for non-se­ri­ous can­di­dates. It pro­posed to ex­tend CEC Nasim Zaidi at a meet­ing with political par­ties in New Delhi on Satur­day. the ex­ist­ing ban on phys­i­cal cam­paign­ing to ad­ver­tise­ments and cam­paign in elec­tronic me­dia as well in the last 48 hours be­fore polling.

While most of

the pro­pos­als evoked luke­warm re­sponse from the political par­ties, they all agreed to the Com­mis­sion’s plan to in­tro­duce a soft­ware that helps can­di­dates to man­age their elec­tion ex­penses.

None of th­ese pro­pos­als are to be im­ple­mented in the up­com­ing as­sem­bly elec­tions in four states, EC of­fi­cials clar­i­fied.

The political par­ties were most vo­cal against the EC’s pro­posal to in­tro­duce a new col­umn in the af­fi­davit where the can­di­dates will have to dis­close from where they earned money and how they pro­cured prop­er­ties men­tioned in their de­clared as­sets.

Prank call­ing the po­lice could lead to jail time of up to three years, with the anti-ter­ror­ism squad ask­ing the Maharashtra govern­ment for a strict law against hoax call­ers.

The ATS’ move comes af­ter a spike in the num­ber of hoax calls since the Is­lamic State (IS) started tar­get­ing youth from the state. In its let­ter to the govern­ment, the ATS said hoax-call cases went up to 574 in 2015, com­pared to a lit­tle more than 100 in 2014.

“Ear­lier, around 100 to 200 cases of hoax calls would be reg­is­tered a year. But, in the past few years, there has been a dras­tic rise . There have been cases where peo­ple make hoax calls about bombs on trains if they are about to miss one. There have even been cases where the caller claims some­one is car­ry­ing ex­plo­sives, in a bid to take re­venge on that per­son,” said an ATS of­fi­cer, not wish­ing to be named.

Cur­rently, sec­tion 506 of the IPC (pun­ish­ment for crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion) is used against those mak­ing hoax calls, but this is not a cog­nis­able of­fence, of­fi­cers said.

To make it cog­nis­able, other sec­tions of the IPC and IT acts are im­posed. “Hoax call­ers never use their orig­i­nal names, so when they are caught, we ap­ply sec­tions of im­per­son­ation, and some other sec­tions de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the call , so that we have a cog­nis­able case and can ar­rest the ac­cused . Even af­ter ar­rest­ing them, they are bailed out in a week ,” said an of­fi­cer.

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