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EC caught on wrong foot

The commission?s decision comes in wake of reports that it had violated the Right to Information Act.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 23:10 IST

The Election Commission will publish names of the 43 MPs and 216 MLAs who have petitions against their names on charges of holding an office of profit.

The names will be put up on the poll panel’s website.
 
The commission’s decision comes in wake of reports that it had violated the Right to Information Act when it refused to furnish details of a petition filed by Trinammol Congress leader Mukul Roy against 11 CPM MPs for holding offices of profit.

The detailed information had been sought by Amit Sen Gupta, a resident of Saket in New Delhi. He had also sought copies of the commission’s order.

However, only the names will be published and not the copies of the documents, the EC has informed Sen Gupta.

According to the panel, the documents cannot be furnished till the opinion was tendered and President’s order published.

Sources in the commission said only basic details and statistics on the contentious issue of office of profit will be put up on the website.

"Since the commission is a quasi judicial body and the President and some Governors have sought its opinion on the issue, the daily developments regarding ongoing cases cannot be disclosed till the President’s order is finally published," an official remarked.

In fact, EC officials claimed that even after the opinion is sent to the President it cannot be made public till the President’s order is published and a formal notification is issued by the Law Ministry.

Meanwhile, Sen Gupta who has already threatened to take appropriate legal action against the poll panel said the commission so far has not informed him about the details being put on its website.

"One has to wait to see what the commission puts on its website since I had not sought any basic information. I wanted exact details of the petitions filed against the 11 CPM MPs. I will decide on what further action I will take only after studying the details the Ec puts on the site," Sen Gupta said.

The commission received the names of the 43 MPs and 216 MLAs through 33 references from the President and various governors.