The Commission is likely to write to the Law Ministry in the coming days to amend the R P Act

EC may ask govt to change law to counter cash-for-votes in polls
news Elections Monday, June 06, 2016 - 19:00

The Election Commission is considering asking the government to change the electoral law to allow it to cancel polls on the ground of ‘cash-for-vote’. This comes close on the heels of the Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu where opposition parties claimed that money power was used to influence voters.  The EC seized more than Rs. 100 crore in Tamil Nadu, the highest among the states that went to polls. Officials also seized Rs. 570 crores from three containers just days before the polls, which were later claimed by State Bank of India as an inter-bank money transfer.   

At present, the Commission has powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to cancel or postpone polls if they have been vitiated due to use of money to get votes.

But now, the poll panel wants the government to amend the Representation of the People Act to make use of money power a ground to cancel or countermand polls.

A provision in the R P Act allows EC to only cancel polls if muscle power has been used or booths have been captured to influence the outcome of elections.

EC officials on Monday said it would be better if the provision to cancel polls on the grounds of use of money is incorporated in the law and the Commission does not have to resort to exercising its constitutional power for the same.
The Commission is likely to write to the Law Ministry in the coming days to amend the R P Act to add the provision, they said.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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