EC opposes statutory backing to poll code



New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday opposed any move to provide statutory backing to the Model Code of Conduct, saying the present system was working fine.

"Giving statutory backing to Model Code is a very vague suggestion.... When we do not need any power, then why do you want to give it to us forcibly," Chief election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said here today.

Opposing the Government's move for grant of statutory powers to Model Code of Conduct, Quraishi supported the present system as more effective than many other laws of the land and said it has put a check on poll malpractices.

"The Model Code is like quick action, it works like fire brigade dousing fire. If such matters go to court, it will take six to seven years... It is very effective. In the last three-four years, there was not a single hate speech or any personal attack against each other. It is an effective tool than many laws of the land," Quraishi told reporters.

The CEC said the Election Commission was using the model Code of Conduct in an effective way alongwith other laws also.

"We use model code where there is no other law applicable. We use IPC and other laws also and register FIRs," Quraishi said.

An agenda paper of Department of Personnel and Training circulated to members of a Group of Ministers on corruption had suggested giving statutory powers to the Model Code of Conduct, which government later said was only a suggestion and not part of the terms of reference of the panel.

PTI