Constitutional status for Lokpal good idea: CEC

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 23:46

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner SZ Quraishi says it is a good idea to make the proposed Lokpal a
Constitutional body and also he was looking at positively the
government move to make it "more powerful" than the Election
Commission.

"Lokpal to be a Constitutional body is a good idea and
that is the only way to make it effective and strong," he said
tonight when asked to comment on the Government`s intention to
confer constitutional status on the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The CEC said this when asked to comment on Law Minister
Salman Khurshid`s remarks to PTI last night that the Lokpal
will be "more powerful than the Election Commission" and "will
have far greater powers".

Noting that the Election Commission has been cited as
the "benchmark" on the question of giving powers to the
Lokpal, Quraishi also hoped that the Government will work for
strengthening the powers of the Election Commission.

"Whether the EC which is cited as the benchmark is
really strong and is there a scope to make it stronger, I
think Khurshid has given a new dimension. I take it very
positively that he does realise there is scope for
strengthening the power of EC and I hope government will work
on it," he told NDTV.

Quraishi said the Election Commission as a
Constitutional body draws all its powers from the Constitution
enabling it conduct elections in a free and fair manner.
He hoped efforts for basic electoral reforms aimed at
eliminating corruption among other things will also engage the
attention of the Government.

"The Lokpal at the end of the day will identify the
corrupt and throw the person out but electoral reforms is
aimed at preventing the corrupt and criminals from coming to
power in the first place and this will be more suiting and
more fundamental," he added.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 23:46

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