Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
EC CHIEF URGES GOVT TO EXPEDITE PROPOSALS FOR POLL REFORM
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra has written to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad requesting for expedited action on the electoral reform proposals pending with the government, including the one which seeks an enhanced two-year jail term for those furnishing incorrect information in their poll affidavit.
“I have written to the law minister to expedite these proposals and hopefully they will be taken up early by the ministry,” Chandra told PTI. The letter was sent by the CEC last month.
Enhancing the imprisonment period for those furnishing incorrect details in poll affidavits from existing six months to two years is a key electoral reform proposal of the Election Commission. A two-year jail term could bar the candidate from contesting elections for six years.
“The present six-month imprisonment does not lead to disqualification,” lamented Chandra.
The Election Commission has also proposed making paid news an electoral offence under the Representation of the People Act to provide a strong deterrent against the malpractice.
The poll panel, reminded the CEC, has also proposed a ban on political advertisements in newspapers during the “silence period” between the end of campaign and the day of polling so that the electorate is not influenced and can exercise the franchise with a free mind.