Did EC set a risky precedent with TN re-ballot order?

Has the Election fee shot itself inside the foot?

The query arises inside the light of the EC countermanding polls in two constituencies — Aravakurichi and Thanjavur — within the latest elections to the Tamil Nadu legislative meeting. The EC sought particular powers to postpone or revoke the polls, mentioning ‘cash-for-vote’.

according to information reports, the commission has written to the Union law ministry, seeking a brand new segment 58(b), in the illustration of the humans Act, to empower the EC to provide for adjournment or countermanding of elections inside the affected polling areas. It stated that money electricity changed into used to persuade the polls and asked for the polls to be re-scheduled.

At gift, the Act affords for countermanding only within the case of sales space-capturing, underneath section 58(a). In looking for to insert a brand new sub-phase 58(b), the EC has additionally sought a clarification that the word ‘countermand the election’ in both cases need to mean ab initio (from the start) rescinding of the whole electoral procedure in the constituency.

In writing to the authorities for a change inside the regulation, the EC has certainly stated future possibilities of such countermanding of polls to decrease the use of money electricity.

but, the polls had been carried out underneath Article 324 of the charter, which empowers the EC to make sure loose and honest polls, and study with phase 54(a), it manner that money energy was sales space-capturing of a exceptional kind which anyway interfered with ‘unfastened and truthful polls’.

it is pretty not going that the candidates of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the rival DMK may need to contest the poll panel’s selection to cancel the vote inside the constituencies. The party leaderships would no longer probable need their candidates to reveal themselves in a bad light, must the better judiciary bypass strictures both in opposition to the candidates or the party, or each.

It stays to be seen if any ‘affected voter’ in either of these constituencies moves the better judiciary, in search of a statement that the EC had acted beyond the powers conferred on it, both in terms of making sure loose and honest polls and countermanding of polls.

Already, the Madras high court docket has disposed of a petition searching for re-polling earlier than June 13 as constant by the EC, after polling for the remaining 232 constituencies ended on may sixteen. initially, the EC had fixed the date for may also 23. The petitioners in the HC and political events, wanted it added in advance to any day earlier than the counting of votes on may 19 for the ultimate 232 seats. They argued that re-polling after the results ought to ‘unfairly impact’ the citizens in these two constituencies.

The HC then requested the EC for its position, which fixed the re-polls then June 13. finally, it cancelled the countermanded polls of their entirety.

In between, Tamil Nadu Governor okay Rosaiah too got into the act and in an remarkable circulate summoned state leader electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni for a briefing.

He also wrote to the CEO, bringing up representations (including those from AIADMK candidates), inquiring for the postponed polling to be hung on June 1, to help the human beings’s representatives from the 2 constituencies take part inside the Rajya Sabha polls.

Then, the EC after a sitting in Delhi issued a assertion signed by using chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and the two ECs taking exception to the governor’s nicely-publicised notion. Later, the EC cancelled the polls.

below the regulation and practice of the land, the government has no say within the precise behavior of polls. Even the Judiciary has refused to interfere with the poll method till after the results were declared. this is also to make sure that there may be no indefinite ‘judicial stay’ of polls, on one ground or another.

a lot less is the electricity of the govt within the real behavior of the polls. As per the constitution, wellknown exercise and courtroom precedents, the President/governor most effective problems the formal notifications for the elections involved — and later the constitution of the new Lok Sabha or the state assembly, as the case can be.

Governor Rosaiah’s time period ends in September, and it remains to be seen if the Centre might suggest an extension for him inside the mild of the EC’s observations.

Rosaiah is a Congress veteran from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, and become also the chief minister of the nation, earlier than turning into TN governor. He is also the only governor to be allowed to stay on in office after the exchange of shield at the Centre.

around ballot time, the governor additionally in all likelihood set another precedent of types with the aid of initiating a defamation case towards the state Congress president, E V ok S Elangovan.

it’s far truely a precedent for the governor to report a case after the best court docket upheld the present provisions on ‘crook defamation’ — as exclusive from ‘civil defamation’, entailing damages.

it’s far now all and sundry’s guess if chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will speak the appointment of a new governor whilst she makes her first visit to Delhi after her historic ballot victory on June 14. Jaya is scheduled to meet with prime Minister Narendra Modi, probable at his house. while she is in Delhi, other senior ministers on the Centre have made it a habit of calling on her at her house within the national capital to talk about kingdom-associated issues. 1,000,000-greenback question is whether or not Jaya will meet with the country wide media, which has in no way been granted an interview together with her since the poll consequences. The media may possibly need to grill Jaya on the ‘disproportionate property case’ towards her after the superb court docket had reserved the verdict simplest days earlier than her upcoming Delhi go to.

closer to the concluding classes of the hearing inside the case, the 2-choose SC Bench had thrown up an interesting proposition/question at the prosecution (represented by attorneys for the kingdom of Karnataka).

Going through reports in a phase of the media, the judges proposed to the prosecution that being profitable past the acknowledged assets of earnings was itself not an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). It additionally needed to be proved that the money turned into made thru illegal means.

this type of assemble, if taken to its logical conclusion within the very last verdict, on every occasion pronounced, ought to set a new precedent within the nation’s ‘graft jurisprudence’.

The regulation at gift says that the accused need to show the supply of profits, if the prosecution/court is satisfied that the wealth in his/her possession is ‘disproportionate to his/her recognized assets of earnings’.

It hence turns into incumbent upon the accused to expose the sources of earnings, as additionally persuade the courtroom that those sources did not entice the provisions of the PCA.

The law also holds that any ‘public servant’ or each person deemed near a public servant may be hauled up under the PCA.

It’s then for the co-accused of the ‘public servant’ – in this situation, Jaya’s confidante Sasikala and the latter’s relatives – to prove that they’re now not linked. that is again a factor on which the defence has challenged the prosecution.

The SC has to make clear the placement in those subjects and others, after a unmarried judge of the Karnataka high courtroom had upturned the conviction order reported by means of the trial court docket and ordered the discharge of all four accused.

It’s another matter altogether that during the course of the arguments, the Bench additionally added to the list of viable verdicts, the choice of imparting the case to the high courtroom for a fresh listening to.

N Sathiya Moorthy, veteran journalist and political analyst, is Director, Observer research basis, Chennai chapter.