Code violations in civic polls, HC asks election panel to act



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the State Election Commission and the city police to take proper action on complaints of violations of Model Code of Conduct during MCD elections last year.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain said any inaction on the part of the commission and the police would be treated as contempt of court.

The direction came on a plea filed by Lok Satta Party alleging that many violations of the model code by national parties and their candidates came to light in the elections but the authorities turned a blind eye to them.

Anurag Kejriwal, Delhi president of the party, pleaded that the court should interfere in the matter so that free and fair elections for trifurcated MCD can be ensured in future.

Advocate Dhananjay Shahi, appearing for Lok Satta, alleged that the national parties indulged in "several malpractices by flouting statutory bye-laws" and violated the model code of conduct of the election commission.

"During the recently concluded MCD elections in 2012, Lok Satta Party candidates discovered the blatant violation of model code of conduct and notified the authorities-- returning officer (RO) and police for taking action but instead of taking corrective action the activities continued with many times the RO and the police authorities refused to acknowledge the complaints," said Shahi.

The party had earlier submitted a memorandum highlighting the violations but got no positive response from state election commissioner, he added.

"It is very surprising that even the state election commission, sub divisional magistrate Preet Vihar and deputy commissioner of police- east district often do not take any action against the candidates of national political parties," the plea alleged.

They even do not act upon the complaints received by them from small political parties or independent candidates, which makes the election to the MCD more or less a partisan and vitiated where the people by and large succumb to the temptations of the larger political parties, it claimed.

"The general public exercising their franchise are more or less uneducated and poor segments of the society, who have been influenced by offering freebies like liquor, gifts, dinners etc and have obtained their votes in their favour by adopting the methods which is in utter derogation to the model code of conduct," the petitioner said.

PTI