EC says is in favour of special courts to deal with criminal cases against lawmakers

The EC to the apex court submitted a copy of a letter from the chief election commissioner to the govt in December 2015 urging it to implement ‘Important electoral reforms’


A file photo of Election Commission building in New Delhi. The Centre is yet to file its response in the case. Photo: Mint
A file photo of Election Commission building in New Delhi. The Centre is yet to file its response in the case. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) told the Supreme Court on Monday that it is in favour of setting up special courts to deal with criminal cases against lawmakers.

The commission had filed an affidavit before the apex court on a 2016 public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The EC also enclosed a copy of a letter written by the chief election commissioner to the law minister in December 2015 urging the government to implement “Important Electoral Reforms” —a policy document proposed by the EC, Law Commission and National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution on electoral reforms.

“If this is put in place it is expected to expedite cases of elected representatives whether they are to be found guilty or not. The view is divided on it as some people think this process is not a solution as cases of common people will continue to languish for longer duration in the courts,” said Jagdeep Chhokar, founding member of the New Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The EC also told the court that it has submitted detailed proposals on decriminalization of politics, prohibition of paid news, and election expenditure.

The Centre is yet to file its response in the case.

“Ultimately such electoral reforms rest with the political class. A number of recommendations are made by the judiciary and the EC but if there is no political will, it will not happen,” Chhokar added.

Anuja contributed to this story.

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