NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) has written to the law ministry seeking an amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951 that will allow adjournment of poll or countermanding the election on the ground of “bribery of electors”.
In the letter sent on Monday, the EC said a new section 58 B should be inserted in the Representation of People Act, 1951 on the lines of section 58 A, which allows adjournment of poll or countermanding the election on the ground of booth capturing.
The EC’s decision has been precipitated by the recent sting operation purportedly showing a group of MLAs from Karnataka demanding money for supporting a candidate for the June 11 Rajya Sabha biennale and the unprecedented deferral of assembly polls in two constituencies in TN after the EC found evidence of money being used to influence voters.
“Section 58 A was inserted in 1989…At that point of time, booth capturing was considered to be a major malpractice in election. Over a period of time and especially in the recent years, misuse of money power is seen to be having a serious vitiating effect on the conduct of free and fair elections ,” the commission said in the letter.
At present, the Commission has powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to cancel or postpone polls if they have been vitiated due to use of money to get votes.