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Law panel says response to poll reforms lukewarm

Among issues raised in paper are disqualification of chargesheeted or convicted persons, punishment for filing of false affidavits and state funding of elections.

New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2014 11:36 pm

The Law Commission Tuesday said the response of political parties to its consultation paper floated last year seeking views on the issue of crucial reforms in electoral laws was “lukewarm”.

Among the issues raised in the paper are the disqualification of chargesheeted or convicted persons, punishment for filing of false affidavits and state funding of elections.

Addressing mediapersons, Law Commission Chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah (retd) said the Congress was the only major party which responded to its May 2013 consultation paper. Eight MPs — four each from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha — responded to the paper as did 123 individuals and 21 organisations. “I must tell you, the response was lukewarm,” Justice Shah said.

Karnataka’s Welfare Party of India, a registered political party, was the other outfit which responded to the paper. Stating that while the issue of banning opinion polls is not with the Commission, Justice Shah said, “But we might take a look at it suo motu.” He also said that any decision on the complex issue would have to be taken keeping in mind provisions under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution, which relates to freedom of speech and expression.

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