SEC 'forgot' to update website

'Statement is only general in nature'

 
Constitutional experts and the common man alike have viewed the SEC's action as an unprecedented "act of favouritism" towards the ruling party. The opposition parties, surprisingly have not reacted to it.

 "The action of the SEC in Karnataka will certainly be setting a precedence of favouritism towards the ruling party" commented constitutional expert Ravi Varma Kumar.
While Kumar stated that the model code of conduct is not a binding legal rule, it is nonetheless morally binding on political parties as the election dates are announced.

Force of law

"According to the Supreme Court judgments, any action that has the force of law in it can be enforced. In this case, the model code of conduct has a force of law as recognised in the cases registered by the Election Commission for violating the conduct," said former Advocate General B V Acharya.

SEC Commissioner C K Chikkamath on Tuesday made a volte face on his own announcement on the code of conduct coming into effect from the date of announcement of election. The Commission's website said: "The election code of conduct will come into force from the date of announcement of poll dates and will be in force till the completion of election process."

However, Chikkamath has set a new precedent in the BBMP election by declaring the election on December 7 but bringing the model code of conduct into effect on January 15, giving an opportunity to the government to complete all the works and go on inauguration spree while escaping any action under the code.

When his attention was drawn to the guidelines on the code of conduct on the SEC website, Chikkamath said: "My written statement on the website is about general code of conduct on elections but not about the BBMP election. We forgot to update our website but now we are updating our website."

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