‘What action can you take against political parties?’

HC poser to poll panel on those flouting funding rules

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the stand of the Election Commission of India (EC) on taking action against political parties, which do not comply with its instructions to disclose funding and expenditure details.

“You wrote to them, but they have not complied. What further? When compliance has not been done, tell us what you propose to do? What powers do you have? Your response indicates helplessness on your part,” a Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao said.

The EC told the Bench that it has been consistently writing to the parties, which have not disclosed their expenditure.

The High Court directed the EC to file an affidavit indicating what powers or options it has to ensure implementation or enforcement of its guidelines regarding disclosure of expenditure by political parties and what steps it can take when there is violation of its norms.

The High Court was hearing a petition by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) seeking implementation of the guidelines as well as the Law Commission’s recommendation that a provision be enacted to monitor and regulate the expenditure by political parties during elections.

The NGO has alleged in its plea that since the present political system was being “funded through various illegal means and also by the people and corporate agencies with vested interests, it [political system] does not seem to be inclined to give effect to the recommendations of the Law Commission.”

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam and advocate Abhimanue Shrestha, appearing for Association for Democratic Reforms, said the Supreme Court has held that the EC has the power to give effect to the law panel’s recommendations.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 5:14:20 AM |

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