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Electoral reforms: SC seeks details of reference made to panel

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 16:52

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to apprise it of the points of reference made to Law Commission for suggesting "plausible" changes in legislations to ensure de-criminalisation of politics.

A bench of justices RM Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh asked the Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhad, appearing for the Centre, to file a copy of reference made to the law panel within two weeks before it.

"We can shorten the area of debate on electoral reforms. First tell us the the points of reference. We can also seek the opinion of the Law Commission on certain issues," it said, adding, "There are still four-five months left for the election and we need see as to whether some positive steps can be taken or not."

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Public Interest Foundation which is seeking a ban on persons, charged with criminal offences, from contesting polls.

Responding to the PIL, the ASG said, "We are committed to de-criminalise the politics, but the government cannot go forward unless there is consensus."

On being pointed put that Law Commission, the Election Commission and the Parliamentary Standing Committee have dealt with the issue earlier also, the bench said, "The question is as to whether the Executive has accepted the views."

It wanted to know as to which extent the executive has accepted the views on electoral reforms of various panels.

"The views of the Government may be different from the views of the committees. The Government will have to take a view and then proceed as per rules of Parliament," it said.

Earlier, the poll panel, in its affidavit, proposed that any person against whom a court has framed charges for offences punishable with a jail term of five years or more should be barred from contesting polls.

First Published: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 16:52
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