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Law Commission frowns upon multiple constituencies

In its second report on electoral reforms in a year the law panel has also rejected the idea of compulsory voting and has stressed on regulating and restricting government sponsored advertisements six months prior to the date of expiry of the House “to maintain the purity of elections.”

On the issue of electoral finances, it said election expenses incurred or authorised by candidates or their election agents, currently extends from the date of nomination to the date of declaration of results. This period should be extended to apply from the date of notification of the polls to the date of declaration of results.

The Commission said the Companies Act should be amended to require passing of the resolution authorising the contribution from the company’s funds to a political party at the company’s Annual General Meeting instead of its Board of Directors. The Commission said the disqualification of a candidate for its failure to lodge an account of election expenses and contributions reports should be extended from the current three year period upto a five year period, so that a defaulting candidate may become ineligible to contest at least the next elections.

It recommended “express penalties”, apart from losing tax benefits, to be imposed on political parties. “This should include a daily fine of Rs 25,000 for each day of non-compliance, with the possibility of de-registration if the default continues beyond 90 days,” it said.
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