Poll reforms under consideration: Centre to HC

The Centre has told the Delhi High Court it is considering electoral reforms recommended by Law Commission and "some action" is certain after a plea sought removal of a provision restricting the period of disqualification from contesting polls for a candidate to six years on being sentenced to two years or more.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal which was hearing a plea seeking a slew of electoral reform measures.

The Centre informed the bench that the Law Commission, in two of its reports, has recommended "electoral reforms/ regulation of political parties and inner party democracy". "Ministry of Law and Justice constituted a task force comprising senior officers to examine the recommendation and form a roadmap for its implementation," the Centre said in its affidavit.

"The subject matter of the 244th and 255th report of the Law Commission is already under consideration of the Government of India at an appropriate level, it is humbly prayed that this court dispose of the writ petition at the admission stage since it is certain that some action would be taken by the government on the subject matter," the affidavit states.

The government was responding to a plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who has claimed that the restriction of six years on the period of disqualification of a legislator was ultra vires of the Constitution.

He has sought that two sections of Representation of the People Act (RPA) be declared "void, as they restrict disqualification period up to six years" only and allow convicted person to contest Parliament and state assembly elections.

The government, however, urged the court to dismiss the plea on the ground that the petitioner has "not espoused any cause of greater public importance"."The petition does not provide conclusive material and factual proof to substitute that section 8 & 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 are unconstitutional and void.
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