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Signing ordinances ahead of Delhi polls: EC leaves it to President

The Election Commission on Monday refrained from commenting on whether the President is free to sign ordinances when the Model Code of Conduct is in force for Delhi Assembly elections, saying he (the President) knows when to use his constitutional powers.



New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday refrained from commenting on whether the President is free to sign ordinances when the Model Code of Conduct is in force for Delhi Assembly elections, saying he (the President) knows when to use his constitutional powers.

"The President is also a constitutional authority. He knows when he should exercise his constitutional powers. The Commission does not interfere in Constitutional functioning of other authorities," Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told reporters here.

He was asked whether the poll code in any way prevents the President from signing ordinances passed by the Union Cabinet prior to the announcement of Delhi elections today.

Responding to another question, Sampath said the EC does not want to paralyse the functioning of the central government for the sake of election in one place.

"Only if any decision is taken with any eye of wooing the voters of NCT (National Capital Territory) in particular, only those things will come into our scanner," he said.

Just before the Delhi Assembly was dissolved, the EC had announced bypoll to three seats.

While the Model Code of Conduct was in place, the Election Commission had pulled up the Home Ministry over a news that it had announced fresh compensation for the 1984 riot victims. Though MHA denied taking a final call on compensation, EC had questioned why the government had not denied media reports if no decision had been taken in this regard.

The bypoll was cancelled after the Delhi Assembly was dissolved by the President in November last year.

On the issue of the government today accepting in the Supreme Court the recommendations of a committee that favoured voting through electronic means for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Sampath said the Representation of the People Act will have to be amended for the purpose. "Then only, there can be further action," he added.  

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