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Government denies any move to take away Model Code violations outside EC purview

New Delhi, Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 21 (ANI): The central government on Tuesday denied any reports of taking the Model Code of Conduct violations out of Election Commission purview.


The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in a press release today said 'the contents of the report were totally misconceived and there is no such move under contemplation of the government or the Group of Ministers'.


Earlier, some media reports had said government was working on giving the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) a statutory backing and that if it is successful, complaints pertaining to code violations will go out of the purview of the Election Commission.


The report also indicated the Union Legislative Secretary has been asked to make a presentation before the Group of Ministers on Corruption at its meeting scheduled to be held on February 22, on the issue of giving statutory shape to executive instructions issued by the Election Commission and that such a statutory backing means the code violations would be covered by law and hence be tried in a court rather than being left to the discretion of the Election Commission.


The government clarified that "State Funding of Elections" was one of the mandates given to the Group of Ministers on Corruption under its terms of reference and has, accordingly, been receiving the attention of the Group of Ministers at its deliberations from time to time from the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) and the Election Commission along with other electoral reforms.


The storm over the issue had gathered up after Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid earlier in the day said the central government is planning to discuss electoral reforms at the all-party meeting after the conclusion of elections in the five states.


Khurshid , however, told mediapersons later that he had no knowledge about the agenda of the meeting of the group of ministers.


"To my knowledge there is no such thing on the agenda. As far as I understand, it was that once the elections are over there will be an all-party consultation on issues about electoral reforms, many of which have been pushed by the Election Commission itself. Now what will be on the agenda will only be known once we get closer to that meeting," he said.


Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi had earlier termed this move as an attack on the powers and privileges of the electoral body. (ANI)


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