More powers to EC: Supreme Court seeks Centre's response to BJP leader's plea

A plea had sought a direction from the top court for giving more powers to the Election Commission. 

More powers to EC: Supreme Court seeks Centre's response to BJP leader's plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a detailed reply from the Centre and the Election Commission in connection with a plea seeking more powers to the poll watchdog.

The plea was filed by the BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

The order was passed by a three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, in response to the plea moved by Upadhyay.

Through his plea, Upadhyay had sought a direction from the Supreme Court for making the process for the removal of three Election Commissioners (ECs), more simpler and equal.

Just recently, the Election Commission had demanded the right to cancel the registration of political parties. 

The EC has made this demand in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court over a public interest litigation (PIL) questioning formation of political parties by convicted persons.

The poll body also pointed that as of now, it has no right to take action against parties violating election rules, demanding that the law must be changed to ensure that the EC gets the right to act in this regard.

In its reply, the Election Commission has stated that it has been requesting subsequent governments for the past 20 years to change the law, but nothing has been done in this regard till now.

Lawyer and activist Ashwini Upadhyay has too demanded that those convicted of any crime must not be allowed to hold party posts. Upadhyay's plea states that if a party keeps a convicted person as its office bearer, the registration of such political party must be cancelled with immediate effect.

However, the top court earlier said that it would not look into the issue of convicted persons being a part of any political party or forming a different party, but would consider EC’s demand to get the power to de-register a political party.

The court then fixed the matter for hearing on February 19.

(With ANI inputs)

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