The Election Commission of India (ECI) has no data or records on ‘status’ of various cases pertaining to violations of the model code of conduct in last three Lok Sabha elections, an RTI query has revealed.
City-based activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI query in this regard. He also sought to know the “minimum and maximum action” being initiated by the ECI against politicians concerned in the mandatory time limit, if any, in cases of poll code violations.
“There are no records or data maintained with the Election Commission on the status of cases of violation of model code of conduct filed before it,” the ECI Under Secretary A K Pathak said in his reply.
The official said there is no standard policy or the mention of any provisions of law enforced that enables the body to take specific action against the violators of the poll code. Pathak said there was “no specific time limit to decide on a particular case of violation and that the actions are taken on the basis of priority as per the prescribed procedure”.
The reply stated that since there has been no compilation of information on record, the RTI query seeking information on the ‘status of cases of violation of model code of conduct stood rejected under section 7 (9) of the RTI Act, 2005.
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Pathak said the compilation of record would have put unnecessary burden on the resources of the ECI. Reacting to this, Galgali said, “It is disheartening to see that there is no time limit under which the EC would be bound to take action against errant politicians. Strong policies need to be formulated to change the image of the EC, which is now largely seen as a toothless tiger.