No Database Of Penal Action Taken Against MPs, Says ECI

No Database Of Penal Action Taken Against MPs, Says ECI

The revelation comes following a Right to Information (RTI) inquiry seeking details on notices issued and actions initiated against MPs since 2014

Megha KuchikUpdated: Monday, April 22, 2024, 09:37 AM IST
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Election Commission of India | File Photo

Mumbai: The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently disclosed that it does not maintain records of penal actions taken against members of Parliament (MPs) for various infractions, including violations of the model code of conduct. The revelation comes following a Right to Information (RTI) inquiry seeking details on notices issued and actions initiated against MPs since 2014. As the constitutional body tasked with overseeing and regulating elections nationwide, the Election Commission clarified that it does not possess organised data concerning notices served to MPs and subsequent actions taken against them. According to the ECI, compiling such information would impose a disproportionate burden on its resources.

As per an RTI activist, Article 324 of the Constitution grants the Election Commission the authority to supervise, direct and control elections to Parliament and state legislatures, as well as the elections for the President and vice-president of India. Despite its pivotal role in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, the ECI appears to lack fundamental record-keeping mechanisms concerning notices and actions related to MPs.

Jeetendra Ghadge's statement

The absence of a comprehensive database documenting disciplinary measures against MPs has elicited concerns among activists and political analysts alike. Jeetendra Ghadge, representing ‘The Young Whistleblowers Foundation’, expressed disappointment over the commission’s apparent inaction in addressing violations by candidates and political parties. “At a time when candidates and political parties are resorting to hate speeches, making derogatory remarks, and attempting to sow divisions in society along religious and caste lines, the Election Commission’s failure to take concrete actions beyond issuing notices is alarming,” Ghadge said.

He urged the Election Commission to prioritise public interest and transparency by promptly publishing all relevant data regarding notices issued to MPs and the subsequent actions taken against them. Ghadge stressed the importance of accountability in ensuring the fair conduct of elections and upholding democratic principles. The commission must ensure that violators face appropriate consequences, thereby upholding the sanctity of the electoral process.

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