Designate bribery, paid news during elections as specific crimes: Election Commission tells CentreThe Election Commission has urged the central government to take measures to curb the increasing use of money power and paid news during elections.
The Election Commission has urged the central government to take measures to curb the increasing use of money power and paid news during elections.
According to a report in Times of India on Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi has requested the government to ‘take urgent steps, including considering an ordinance, to designate the malpractices as specific crimes’.
"If there is a will it can be done through ordinance," the TOI report quoted him as saying.
Zaida, according to the report, has recommended that distribution of money among voters by candidates be made an offence under the Criminal Procedure Code so that offenders can be arrested without bail.
On paid news, Zaidi said that government should deal with the problem by making it an offence under the RP Act.
"At present, we determine which news item is paid news and add the expenses incurred to the candidates' expenses, which is Rs 75 lakh for Lok Sabha elections and Rs 28 lakh for assembly elections. But with most candidates reporting poll expenses that are only 50 per cent of the limit, we need to deal with the problem by making it an offence under the RP Act," he said.
Zaidi has also suggested hiking the jail term for filing a false affidavit from six months to two years, thereby barring a candidate from contesting for six years.