Professionals Party of India has been in touch with the Election Commission on a number of measures suggested by EC to the Government of India on electoral reforms. It is a well known fact that De-criminalization of politics is a priority area in cleansing the political canvas of India. While this point has been acknowledged by almost all authorities, as one which will have salutary effect on matters related to eliminating corruption and promoting good governance, there appears to be no consensus among major political parties to comprehensively address the legislations which are required to eliminate outdated laws and empower the executive.
This news letter briefly outlines the current position on the subject. Given that a number of amendments proposed by EC have failed to be acted upon and that courts have shown an inclination to support the EC during the conduct of elections, adopting the PIL route appears to be the only option for the citizens of India. Hence a group of NGOs approached the Supreme Court (536/2011). Under article 32 of the Constitution of India they sought to take the election reforms to the next higher level in pursuance of eradication of Criminalisation of Politics.
The continued use of money and muscle power, the ubiquitous presence of criminals in Lok Sabha, the absence of verification of source of fund used by candidates, the absence of audit of funds held by political parties and related issues have been documented in the PIL. The provisions contained in the representation of people’s act 1951 have been questioned in the context of its relevance.
The most worrying aspect of the whole sordid episode is that the Supreme Court had, in a judgement in 1997 while hearing a case Dinesh Trivedi, MP,ors versus Union Of India, noted with alarm, the devastating impact of having criminals run amok in politics. It had asked the President of India to set up a high level committee in consultation with the PM and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in order to eliminate nexus between criminals, politicians and bureaucrats as inferred in the Vohra Committee report too. What do you think happened thereafter? A nodal agency was nominated which we gather has met 36 times and has come out with no tangible action plan. The nexus continues to haunt us and there is no immediate relief to the citizen of India.
PPI wants you to join us, to keep this topic in the public domain, so that there is sufficient pressure on the political parties in Parliament, the President of India and the Supreme Court. You can do it by electronic means, word of mouth, joining the group of NGOs and finding every opportunity to draw the attention of the President to the pending request of the Supreme Court. Good governance and elimination of corruption are heavily dependent on De-criminalization of Politics.
Let us take a professional route to fight the Criminalization of Politics.
Professionals Party of India, Pune
8th June, 2012