Recommendations of Election Commission Still Pending
After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India had constituted nine working groups to suggest improvements in specific areas. A total of 337 recommendations were made of which 300 have been disposed of so far. The recommendations still under consideration include:
- Drafting of the legal provisions to disqualify candidates for offences with a minimum of five years punishment on the framing of charges, rather than on conviction.
- Punishment for filing false affidavits to be increased from six months to more than two years.
- Permanent disqualification of those guilty of corruption, disloyalty and heinous crimes. At present, under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, any person convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for the listed offences is disqualified from the date of conviction and remains disqualified for a further period of six years after his release.
- A candidate contesting a different election should resign from the current seat.
- Empowering the Commission to issue notices to parties for necessary corrections in its manifesto.
- Setting up of courts to adjudicate electoral offences and disallowing the use of government designations for the purposes of political publicity.
- Introduction of indelible marker ink pens, instead of ink vials.
- Undertaking the community legal demographic profiling and election time zones system by considering factors like weather, examination schedules and festivals should be mapped in each State to facilitate the scheduling of polls to constrict the duration of the election process.
- The number of members required for the registration of a political party should be increased from 100 to 1,000.
- Drafting a comprehensive bill which deals with registration, recognition and funding of political parties.
- Standardisation of Electors Photo Identity Card numbers since they are of 10 digits in some States and 16 in others.
- Setting up of fast-track courts for the speedy resolution of expenditure-related matters.
- De-registering Parties which do not field any candidate in elections.
To ensure the Indian electoral system is more robust, there is a need to take necessary actions on these recommendations.