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  • TeamTeam MembersMembers:: Rishabh Srivastava Ashutosh Ranjan Kriti Rathi Ashutosh Jain Akshay Mishra --Institute of Law, Nirma university, Gujarat  FAIRNESS AT PLAY: INTRODUCING ELECTORAL REFORMS IN INDIA. Rishabh Srivastava Ashutosh Ranjan Kriti Rathi Ashutosh Jain Akshay Mishra --Institute of Law, Nirma university, Gujarat  FAIRNESS AT PLAY: INTRODUCING ELECTORAL REFORMS IN INDIA.
  •  SCOPE: Free & Fair elections are the lifeline of any democracy. And INDIA is the largest democracy, so its a necessity for us to have a fair elections.  Today's election are plagued by a number of issues, and lack of credibility deters people from participating in the electoral process. As worlds largest democracy, its is our responsibility to participate in a free & fair elections.  Reasons: Even after 65years of Independence, the public has not been able to see a free and fair election. From past few years, the citizens are growing restless and have anguish against these elected MP’s. Hence, we have taken up this topic as we believe that the vote of people should go to the right candidate and not be influenced by money or muscle power.  Causes: Money power 1. Lower Income Groups 2. High Illiteracy in Rural Area 3. Lack of Awareness 4. Improper Implementation of laws 5. Anarchy in Criteria 6. Weak at Grass Root Level Muscle Power 1. Criminalization of Politics 2. Using Politics as a Hideout from Law 3. To Suppress the Viewpoints of others 4. To Establish Supremacy over Opponents  SCOPE: Free & Fair elections are the lifeline of any democracy. And INDIA is the largest democracy, so its a necessity for us to have a fair elections.  Today's election are plagued by a number of issues, and lack of credibility deters people from participating in the electoral process. As worlds largest democracy, its is our responsibility to participate in a free & fair elections.  Reasons: Even after 65years of Independence, the public has not been able to see a free and fair election. From past few years, the citizens are growing restless and have anguish against these elected MP’s. Hence, we have taken up this topic as we believe that the vote of people should go to the right candidate and not be influenced by money or muscle power.  Causes: Money power 1. Lower Income Groups 2. High Illiteracy in Rural Area 3. Lack of Awareness 4. Improper Implementation of laws 5. Anarchy in Criteria 6. Weak at Grass Root Level Muscle Power 1. Criminalization of Politics 2. Using Politics as a Hideout from Law 3. To Suppress the Viewpoints of others 4. To Establish Supremacy over Opponents
  • 1. The Election Commission should finance the candidates standing in the elections.  Merits : (i) A fair play field to all candidates : (ii) Reduces Scope of Black Money : (iii) Reduces role of External Factors 2. Auditing rights to be made available to Election Commission  Merits : (i) Scrutiny of Expenditure done by Candidates : (ii)Checks for scope of Back door pumping of money by Candidates : (iii) Check on Manipulative practices done by candidates 3. Election to be held successively  Merits : (i) Uniformity in Election Process : (ii) Reduce scope of Malpractices in the name of Region : (iii) Reduces Pseudo Election 4. Concept of Election Observers- More powers to the Commission and its Observers  Merits: (i) Watch Dog to every activity of Candidates : (ii) Will Reduce burden on Judiciary : (iii) Increases Accountability of Candidates. 1. The Election Commission should finance the candidates standing in the elections.  Merits : (i) A fair play field to all candidates : (ii) Reduces Scope of Black Money : (iii) Reduces role of External Factors 2. Auditing rights to be made available to Election Commission  Merits : (i) Scrutiny of Expenditure done by Candidates : (ii)Checks for scope of Back door pumping of money by Candidates : (iii) Check on Manipulative practices done by candidates 3. Election to be held successively  Merits : (i) Uniformity in Election Process : (ii) Reduce scope of Malpractices in the name of Region : (iii) Reduces Pseudo Election 4. Concept of Election Observers- More powers to the Commission and its Observers  Merits: (i) Watch Dog to every activity of Candidates : (ii) Will Reduce burden on Judiciary : (iii) Increases Accountability of Candidates.
  • 5. MP’s with Serious Charges like MCOCA, Gangster Act, to be Disqualified Immediately  Merits : (i) Saving parliament indirectly from criminals : (ii) Create space for Clean Image person to enter politics 6. Bigger Role to State Police Forces  Merits : (i) Reduces Dependence of Para Military Forces : (ii) Better control of the Local Area 7. Formation of Interim Government:  Merits : (i) Can Implement Free and Fair election Related Policies : (ii) Reduces Scope of Elections Influenced by one party Decisions 8. E-voting System:  Merits : (I) Ensure maximum voting in all classes/areas of the nation. : (ii) Will reduce cases of bogus voting/booth capturing 5. MP’s with Serious Charges like MCOCA, Gangster Act, to be Disqualified Immediately  Merits : (i) Saving parliament indirectly from criminals : (ii) Create space for Clean Image person to enter politics 6. Bigger Role to State Police Forces  Merits : (i) Reduces Dependence of Para Military Forces : (ii) Better control of the Local Area 7. Formation of Interim Government:  Merits : (i) Can Implement Free and Fair election Related Policies : (ii) Reduces Scope of Elections Influenced by one party Decisions 8. E-voting System:  Merits : (I) Ensure maximum voting in all classes/areas of the nation. : (ii) Will reduce cases of bogus voting/booth capturing
  • 1. Financing by Election commission: Here, We believe that a certain portion of tax collected to be handed over to election commission along with the donations made to political parties by various sources to be utilised by Commission during every election. The Money Collected should be distributed based upon the Inflation level of the place where elections are being conducted. The Candidate shall be allowed to use only the resources allotted to them by the Commission and they shall not be allowed to bring/pump any money from personal pocket, and violation of which will interact penalties. The Major stake holders here will be potential candidates, workers, corporate houses, and the government. 2. Auditing by CAG(Comptroller & auditor General) : Both being government bodies, we recommend that during the election time, the CAG should work in close coordination with the commission and take on the job of auditing the accounts of candidates. This auditing will help to discover the extra inflow of money if any. 3. Successive election policy: As per successive election policy, the elections of all states and the centre should be held one after another. We propose to divide the country into 6 zones, and elections in each zone should be held successively. We also propose to cap a candidate to contest foe maximum of 2 seats. This will help to bring down the total election cost and ensure uniform election policies everywhere. 1. Financing by Election commission: Here, We believe that a certain portion of tax collected to be handed over to election commission along with the donations made to political parties by various sources to be utilised by Commission during every election. The Money Collected should be distributed based upon the Inflation level of the place where elections are being conducted. The Candidate shall be allowed to use only the resources allotted to them by the Commission and they shall not be allowed to bring/pump any money from personal pocket, and violation of which will interact penalties. The Major stake holders here will be potential candidates, workers, corporate houses, and the government. 2. Auditing by CAG(Comptroller & auditor General) : Both being government bodies, we recommend that during the election time, the CAG should work in close coordination with the commission and take on the job of auditing the accounts of candidates. This auditing will help to discover the extra inflow of money if any. 3. Successive election policy: As per successive election policy, the elections of all states and the centre should be held one after another. We propose to divide the country into 6 zones, and elections in each zone should be held successively. We also propose to cap a candidate to contest foe maximum of 2 seats. This will help to bring down the total election cost and ensure uniform election policies everywhere.
  • 4. Election Observers : By encouraging observers, we believe that mal practices to some extent can be brought down. These observers will consist of people from local administration, govt school teachers, retired civil servant/judges, and Certain NGO’s. These Observers will be given special training and will have power to complain the commission on any matter they deem important. The total cost of training will be paid by the contingency fund and the election commission budget jointly. 5. Disqualification of MP’s: As soon as any MP is Booked under any article of a Serious crime such as MCOCA,GANGSTER ACT, etc their post and candidature should be immediately scrapped and until the final verdict is announced, the Booked MP should not be allowed to re contest elections 6. Bigger Role of State Police Forces: We Believe that the state police should be given more powers to operate during the election time. They should be transferred to other districts during elections and duty of banning liquor and other substances should be done by police from date of announcement of date of polling. 7. Formation of Interim Government: We propose that an interim government should be formed at least 3 months before the election as it will help us to ensure that the elections are conducted freely, and not dominated by the decisions of any particular party which is in power. This Interim Govt. Will consist of chief justice of India and chief justice of all high courts, and all political members shall be freed from their duties. 4. Election Observers : By encouraging observers, we believe that mal practices to some extent can be brought down. These observers will consist of people from local administration, govt school teachers, retired civil servant/judges, and Certain NGO’s. These Observers will be given special training and will have power to complain the commission on any matter they deem important. The total cost of training will be paid by the contingency fund and the election commission budget jointly. 5. Disqualification of MP’s: As soon as any MP is Booked under any article of a Serious crime such as MCOCA,GANGSTER ACT, etc their post and candidature should be immediately scrapped and until the final verdict is announced, the Booked MP should not be allowed to re contest elections 6. Bigger Role of State Police Forces: We Believe that the state police should be given more powers to operate during the election time. They should be transferred to other districts during elections and duty of banning liquor and other substances should be done by police from date of announcement of date of polling. 7. Formation of Interim Government: We propose that an interim government should be formed at least 3 months before the election as it will help us to ensure that the elections are conducted freely, and not dominated by the decisions of any particular party which is in power. This Interim Govt. Will consist of chief justice of India and chief justice of all high courts, and all political members shall be freed from their duties.
  • 8. E-voting system : We propose that in this tech savvy, 21st century, the voting style should change and a new system of online voting should be implemented, which will provide ease and convenience to the public , especially the working class residing in urban areas, who do not go out to vote due to paucity of time and do not wish to stand in lines at polling stations. We propose to have the voting linked with AADHAR Cards, as each individual will have a unique code assigned to them and voting shall be conducted using the code and a special password, designed for one time use and will be generated by election commission before the elections. This step shall help the people to cast their vote while sitting at home, and ensure that misuse of the technology is not feasible. This step shall require creation and linking of voters database to AADHAR system, which shall be funded as an one time expenditure by the govt, which is already spending on AADHAR project. Further, we propose that people wishing to use online voting system shall be charged a nominal fee. This step will require a full time technical support team, which might be under National Data Centre, a wing of govt of India. This system will be easily sustainable as no extra man power is required and financial help can be arranged from the govt and AADHAR Project plus the fee collected from general Public. 8. E-voting system : We propose that in this tech savvy, 21st century, the voting style should change and a new system of online voting should be implemented, which will provide ease and convenience to the public , especially the working class residing in urban areas, who do not go out to vote due to paucity of time and do not wish to stand in lines at polling stations. We propose to have the voting linked with AADHAR Cards, as each individual will have a unique code assigned to them and voting shall be conducted using the code and a special password, designed for one time use and will be generated by election commission before the elections. This step shall help the people to cast their vote while sitting at home, and ensure that misuse of the technology is not feasible. This step shall require creation and linking of voters database to AADHAR system, which shall be funded as an one time expenditure by the govt, which is already spending on AADHAR project. Further, we propose that people wishing to use online voting system shall be charged a nominal fee. This step will require a full time technical support team, which might be under National Data Centre, a wing of govt of India. This system will be easily sustainable as no extra man power is required and financial help can be arranged from the govt and AADHAR Project plus the fee collected from general Public.
  •  The estimated spending of the candidates should go down. By ensuring financing of elections by the commission, a fair ground in term of money will be established and everyone will get a fair share, with no one able to use extra influence of money in the elections. This solution can be easily implemented and is sustainable to the extent that only the work of financing will be handled by the commission.  The Auditing will happen on basis of current price levels, and any surplus will be immediately informed to the election commission. This Auditing concept will require the cooperation of CAG, and ensure that only the sum allotted by the commission is only utilised and no extra influence using money can be played with. This proposal can easily sustain as the bodies involved are under the govt. And no extra cost will be incurred in the process, rather it will ensure that undue influence of money is curtailed. The audited accounts can be accessed by general public, and if it is ensured that only the allotted sum is used, the influence of personal wealth will be nullified.  By having elections in all zones successively followed by the central elections, it can be ensured that the burden of holding elections and arranging for required resources round the clock if finished. Also, with successive elections, the extra companies of security forces deployed can be rotated easily. This solution can be implemented as it shall help in reducing election expenditure and people can vote at nearby dates, which further increases the voting percentage.  By allowing the system of E-voting , the total numbers of votes being casted will go up considerably, resulting in the people using their right and chances of bogus voting, influenced voting and/or voting only by selected individuals, resulting in a better system of governance chances of deserving candidates goes up.  The estimated spending of the candidates should go down. By ensuring financing of elections by the commission, a fair ground in term of money will be established and everyone will get a fair share, with no one able to use extra influence of money in the elections. This solution can be easily implemented and is sustainable to the extent that only the work of financing will be handled by the commission.  The Auditing will happen on basis of current price levels, and any surplus will be immediately informed to the election commission. This Auditing concept will require the cooperation of CAG, and ensure that only the sum allotted by the commission is only utilised and no extra influence using money can be played with. This proposal can easily sustain as the bodies involved are under the govt. And no extra cost will be incurred in the process, rather it will ensure that undue influence of money is curtailed. The audited accounts can be accessed by general public, and if it is ensured that only the allotted sum is used, the influence of personal wealth will be nullified.  By having elections in all zones successively followed by the central elections, it can be ensured that the burden of holding elections and arranging for required resources round the clock if finished. Also, with successive elections, the extra companies of security forces deployed can be rotated easily. This solution can be implemented as it shall help in reducing election expenditure and people can vote at nearby dates, which further increases the voting percentage.  By allowing the system of E-voting , the total numbers of votes being casted will go up considerably, resulting in the people using their right and chances of bogus voting, influenced voting and/or voting only by selected individuals, resulting in a better system of governance chances of deserving candidates goes up.
  • • The concept of election observers will help us in keeping a closer check to the political campaign of the candidates. These observers, consisting of local administration & other departments will be trained and will have the power to raise any violation related issue directly to the commission. These observers will be present at all rallies and will prepare the report of the activities carried out by the candidates. This proposals will stand all criticism as human resource available is used and only cost on their training is incurred, which , will help in stopping the election related mal practices. • keeping in mind the recent Supreme Court Judgement, the proposal of disqualifying MP’s booked under serious charges will hold good. This practice will ensure that people with criminal background and having muscle power cannot threaten the general public and win over every time. Further this step will ensure that good people sit in the parliament and there shall be no criminalisation. This proposal does not requires any extra human or financial costs, and can be implemented without any hustle. • By giving a bigger role to local police, it can be ensured that the nexus of politicians and law enforcers do not work during the elections and with a new transferred force along with additional deployment of Security Forces , no Illegal or Banned acts take place. This step can be implemented without any hustle as forces will be transferred deployed in phases and does not requires additional man power and minimum financial cost. • We firmly believe that with formation of an interim govt, the scope of misuse of power or influence of ruling party can be cut down very easily. This step requires only establishment of an interim, non political govt, which will ensure that all codes are strictly followed. This step will minimum funding from the consolidated funds of India, and this govt will be from existing part of legal functionaries. • The concept of election observers will help us in keeping a closer check to the political campaign of the candidates. These observers, consisting of local administration & other departments will be trained and will have the power to raise any violation related issue directly to the commission. These observers will be present at all rallies and will prepare the report of the activities carried out by the candidates. This proposals will stand all criticism as human resource available is used and only cost on their training is incurred, which , will help in stopping the election related mal practices. • keeping in mind the recent Supreme Court Judgement, the proposal of disqualifying MP’s booked under serious charges will hold good. This practice will ensure that people with criminal background and having muscle power cannot threaten the general public and win over every time. Further this step will ensure that good people sit in the parliament and there shall be no criminalisation. This proposal does not requires any extra human or financial costs, and can be implemented without any hustle. • By giving a bigger role to local police, it can be ensured that the nexus of politicians and law enforcers do not work during the elections and with a new transferred force along with additional deployment of Security Forces , no Illegal or Banned acts take place. This step can be implemented without any hustle as forces will be transferred deployed in phases and does not requires additional man power and minimum financial cost. • We firmly believe that with formation of an interim govt, the scope of misuse of power or influence of ruling party can be cut down very easily. This step requires only establishment of an interim, non political govt, which will ensure that all codes are strictly followed. This step will minimum funding from the consolidated funds of India, and this govt will be from existing part of legal functionaries.
  •  Economic Challenges: (i) Funding for the election commission: The Corporate houses may not be willing to fund the election commission as they have certain intentions attached while providing sources to the political parties. They may be reluctant in funding. (ii) Share from taxes: The Govt may be reluctant in providing any additional funds to the election commission from its resources as these may be required for other projects. The tax payer may also resent the idea his money being used for election purposes.  Political Challenges (i) Refusal by Parties: The parties may turn down the idea of having the elections funded by the Election Commission and even have there accounts audited by CAG. This step in a way restricts candidates from using their personal resources and influence the elections, as now, all candidates, irrespective of their party will have to compete in an open, free field. (ii) Against Disqualification Law : MP’s will not support the law of disqualification as nearly 1/3rd of MP’s have criminal charges against them, and if they are disqualified, they cannot influence the probe or use politics as an hideout from the punishment.  Social Challenges: (i) People may not accept the new system: Stereo type people may not appreciate the new system of elections and may still wish for old system, where controlling measures were less. (ii) Lower income group may not approve: The poor people of the society may not appreciate the new system as earlier, they used to earn for their vote. All that mattered to them was money, and they were willing to sell off their votes.  Economic Challenges: (i) Funding for the election commission: The Corporate houses may not be willing to fund the election commission as they have certain intentions attached while providing sources to the political parties. They may be reluctant in funding. (ii) Share from taxes: The Govt may be reluctant in providing any additional funds to the election commission from its resources as these may be required for other projects. The tax payer may also resent the idea his money being used for election purposes.  Political Challenges (i) Refusal by Parties: The parties may turn down the idea of having the elections funded by the Election Commission and even have there accounts audited by CAG. This step in a way restricts candidates from using their personal resources and influence the elections, as now, all candidates, irrespective of their party will have to compete in an open, free field. (ii) Against Disqualification Law : MP’s will not support the law of disqualification as nearly 1/3rd of MP’s have criminal charges against them, and if they are disqualified, they cannot influence the probe or use politics as an hideout from the punishment.  Social Challenges: (i) People may not accept the new system: Stereo type people may not appreciate the new system of elections and may still wish for old system, where controlling measures were less. (ii) Lower income group may not approve: The poor people of the society may not appreciate the new system as earlier, they used to earn for their vote. All that mattered to them was money, and they were willing to sell off their votes.
  •  Funding: The chief source of funding for parties are corporate houses. Hence, we will bring it that no donations to be made to political parties and all funding related to elections have to be via the election commission of India  Tax Sharing: The govt should save a share of taxes each year and add on to a reserve which shall be utilised after every 5 years. Since this fund will be used only once in 5 years, the idea should be successfully implemented.  Refusal by Parties : As a Democracy, we must strive for free and fair elections, which are the lifeline. Hence, if required, an amendment or law can be made making it compulsory to use this mechanism. Further, we expect the parties to wilfully agree to this mechanism as it is in the benefit of the nation.  Disqualification law: The main idea behind this law is to ensure criminal free parliament and politics. Hence, we demand a Case Law on this issue to be established and under the direct supervision of supreme court, the booked MP’s to be immediately disqualified.  People resentment: Since this mechanism and reforms shall be brought to help the general public at large, hence a bit of education and advertisement of this reforms shall be able to bring change in peoples perspective  Lower Income Group: Since these people were voting only for money, the govt should ensure that jobs are available for all and a campaign to make people aware regarding their rights and the power of their votes can change and bring this issue to an end.  Funding: The chief source of funding for parties are corporate houses. Hence, we will bring it that no donations to be made to political parties and all funding related to elections have to be via the election commission of India  Tax Sharing: The govt should save a share of taxes each year and add on to a reserve which shall be utilised after every 5 years. Since this fund will be used only once in 5 years, the idea should be successfully implemented.  Refusal by Parties : As a Democracy, we must strive for free and fair elections, which are the lifeline. Hence, if required, an amendment or law can be made making it compulsory to use this mechanism. Further, we expect the parties to wilfully agree to this mechanism as it is in the benefit of the nation.  Disqualification law: The main idea behind this law is to ensure criminal free parliament and politics. Hence, we demand a Case Law on this issue to be established and under the direct supervision of supreme court, the booked MP’s to be immediately disqualified.  People resentment: Since this mechanism and reforms shall be brought to help the general public at large, hence a bit of education and advertisement of this reforms shall be able to bring change in peoples perspective  Lower Income Group: Since these people were voting only for money, the govt should ensure that jobs are available for all and a campaign to make people aware regarding their rights and the power of their votes can change and bring this issue to an end.
  •  Association for Democratic reforms  www.en.wikipedia.org  www.eci.nic.in  Articles: 1. 300 crorepati MPs as House gets richer(The Times of India 18th may, 2009) 2. Financing Indian Elections Turns Costlier and Murkier(The NYTimes, 5th June 2013) 3.How do Parties collect money(rediff.com, 24th march 2004) 4. Rediff.com » Election » Indian MPs worth over Rs 3,000 crore 5. Crime money and winnability( ADR) 6. ‘Role of Money Power in Elections” on 8th August, 2009 organised by Kerala Journalists’ Union, Palakkad, Kerala  Proposed Electoral Reforms( Justice Markendaya Katju, The Hindu)  4th report of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission  Indian Politics- For the rich and powerful  Association for Democratic reforms  www.en.wikipedia.org  www.eci.nic.in  Articles: 1. 300 crorepati MPs as House gets richer(The Times of India 18th may, 2009) 2. Financing Indian Elections Turns Costlier and Murkier(The NYTimes, 5th June 2013) 3.How do Parties collect money(rediff.com, 24th march 2004) 4. Rediff.com » Election » Indian MPs worth over Rs 3,000 crore 5. Crime money and winnability( ADR) 6. ‘Role of Money Power in Elections” on 8th August, 2009 organised by Kerala Journalists’ Union, Palakkad, Kerala  Proposed Electoral Reforms( Justice Markendaya Katju, The Hindu)  4th report of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission  Indian Politics- For the rich and powerful