The Election Commission of India has been served a legal notice on June 13 for failing to respond to a PIL filed in the Delhi high court seeking fair and transparent internal elections in political parties. The poll body has been given seven days to respond, failing which the petitioner, C

[6/14, 08:03] Advt Rajasekar Vot: EC gets legal notice over no response to PIL
Deeksha Bhardwaj

letters@​hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : The Election Commission of India has been served a legal notice on June 13 for failing to respond to a PIL filed in the Delhi high court seeking fair and transparent internal elections in political parties. The poll body has been given seven days to respond, failing which the petitioner, C Rajashekaran, might initiate contempt proceedings against it.

The case dates to November 11, 2020, when Rajashekaran approached EC seeking the establishment of internal democracy in political parties. But when he didn’t receive any response, he filed a PIL in the Delhi high court, drawing attention of the court to EC’s 1996 notice that had asked political parties to follow the rules laid down in their own constitutions regarding internal elections.

On January 12, HC passed an order in which it asked EC to treat the petition as a representation. The notice sent to the chief election commissioner accused the Commission of treating the representation with “total disregard”. HT has seen a copy of the notice. HT reached out to the EC spokesperson but did not receive a response immediately.

The petition had asked EC to de-register a political party for non-compliance.

According to a former election commission official familiar with the matter, the 1996 notice issued by the EC that threatened “legal measures as are available, necessary and appropriate”, including de-registering of political parties, was issued in the context of lack of elections in the Indian National Congress.

“But the concern was not just limited to Congress. The Commission continued to monitor party elections post 1996 and granted extensions to other political parties, while telling others to hold elections earlier than the time they sought. Many such orders were passed.”

The timing of the petition is significant, given the internal turmoil in Congress over affairs in Rajasthan and Punjab, and internal elections deferred due to the pandemic.

According to Rajashekaran, starting a political party has become a business. “There is no fair system, there is no oversight,” he said.
[6/14, 08:14] Sekarreporter1: 🙏🏼

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