“Poll Reforms Bill will be tabled in Parliament before December”

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  1. ejazr

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    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    The Hindu : News / National : "Poll Reforms Bill will be tabled in Parliament before December"

    Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily on Sunday said the Electoral Reforms Bill would be ready and tabled in Parliament before December if not in the monsoon session.

    The Bill was aimed at preventing criminals from entering corridors of power, streamlining financing and conduct of elections, regulating political parties, auditing their finances, adjudication of election disputes and review of the anti-defection law, he said.

    Addressing a joint press conference with Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi after the seventh and the last regional consultation on electoral reforms held here, Mr. Moily underscored the need for comprehensive reforms to make the democratic polity of India more vibrant and resilient.

    He said the draft legislation, incorporating various amendments based on the recommendations of the consultations, would be finalised in consultation with the Election Commission.

    “A holistic approach is the need of the hour to bring about electoral reforms and in taking forward the democratic polity of our country,” he said.

    “We have to stop criminals from entering the electoral fray to prevent democracy from being polluted,” he said.

    He pointed out that necessary legislation would be enacted to dispose of criminal cases within three years to meet both ends of justice.

    Mr. Moily said stringent steps were in the offing to prevent members violating the anti-defection law from entering the electoral fray for at least six years.

    Mr. Quraishi, while stressing the need for electoral reforms, expressed concern at the rise in numbers of candidates with criminal backgrounds and the need for debarring them from contesting elections.

    “While the world marvels at the beauty of our democratic polity and we take pride in being the largest democracy in the world, our eyes get lowered when we see the rise in number of candidates with criminal backgrounds making it to the corridors of power.

    This is an issue that has to be dealt with seriously,” he added.

    Mr. Quraishi also emphasised the need for powers to the Election Commission to de-register a political party when it could give recognition to a party. “It's a case of oversight,” he added.

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