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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

Focus on electoral, police reforms

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 24, 2013
First Published: 00:10 IST(24/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:13 IST(24/1/2013)

Suggesting a slew of electoral and police reforms, Justice JS Verma committee has suggested a new electoral law prescribing strict guidelines for the police and a commission in every state to make the police a professional organisation.

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The panel believes that reforms in the two key institutions were the key for re-imposing people’s faith in government, which were highlighted with nation-wide protest after the gang rape of a para-medic student in Delhi on December 16.

Observing that there were MPs booked for rape and crime against women, the committee wants the government to legislate a new law stipulating a code of conduct for political parties, instituting transparency in receiving donations and declaring whether the parties had given tickets to persons with past criminal records.

It also wants the government to give powers to CAG to investigate the declaration of candidates regarding their assets and recommend disqualification in case the declaration is found to be false.The committee has also asked the Election Commission to adopt name and shame policy of criminals in politics by maintaining a database of all contesting candidates.

Panel also wants the police to more responsive towards citizens and has sought strengthening of complaint authorities, making registration of complaints mandatory and measure performance of police personnel.

Govt firm on banning criminals: Kumar

Law minister Ashwani Kumar said he had asked the Law Commission to recommend steps to prevent people with criminal charges from being elected to Parliament and assemblies. He was also in favour of lowering the age at which an offender could be termed juvenile to 16 years from 18.

“Reforms in the electoral process are important to check corruption. The commission is expected to submit its report by April.” He said the process would involve deciding the nature of crimes.


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