False affidavits: CEC asks law min to take preventive measures

False affidavits: CEC asks law min to take preventive measures

Expressing concern over the practice of candidates furnishing incorrect details in affidavits before polls, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath today said that he has written to Law ministry for more preventive provisions.

"As part of electoral reforms, we have already recommended to the law ministry an imprisonment of up to two years for candidates filing false affidavits and even disqualification of the candidate as an effective deterrent," Sampath said.

Speaking on electoral reforms, Sampath also hailed judiciary for its proactive judgements on election process.

"Some reforms have been introduced by Supreme Court judgement which needs urgent attention of law makers," he said.

"We will be pursuing with the government and political parties for reforms but public opinion is very significant and it must be mobilised by media," he said while addressing a function here.Sampath said that there is a space for more reforms.

"We registered increase in voting percentage in state Assembly elections but still we need to double our efforts for making it much bigger, particularly for Lok Sabha polls.

"Those who are highly qualified and educated must also come and cast their votes because higher voter turnout is important for an improved quality of representation," he said.

Delivering Jhabarmal Sharma memorial lecture organised by vernacular daily Rajasthan Patrika, the CEC underlined the need for a "well defined legislative framework" to address the menace of paid news.

Strong provisions in law is also required for meaningful regulation of political parties, he said."There are parties which do not contest elections but the commission has no right to deregister a political party," he lamented, while stressing on suitable amendment in law to deal with such issues and challenges. 

Later, on the sidelines of the function, Sampath dismissed allegations of Congress that there was fault with the EVMs in Rajasthan.

He said that there is no question of anybody doing mischief with the EVMs.

"We have examined, there is absolute no fault with our EVMs, they are safe and sound and they go from state to state according to requirement. At every stage, they are tested," he said.

On a question on Lok Sabha polls, Sampath said that they will take place on time."Before May 31, we have to conduct Parliament election for constitution of new Lok Sabha," he said. 

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