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Venkatachaliah advocates civil service reforms

The former CJI is calling for a law which will allow politicians to be elected only if he gets more than 50 pc votes, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 01:08 IST

Former Chief Justice of India MN Venkatachaliah on Tuesday advocated a comprehensive law to regulate functioning and funding of political parties combined with civil service reforms to remedy the dismal level of governance in the country.

The former CJI – who has also been chairman of bodies like the National Human Rights Commission and headed the committee to review working of the Constitution – also called for a fresh law that would allow a politician to be declared elected only if he gets more than 50 per cent support within a constituency.

In his analysis shared in course of a talk on “Governance in India: Collapse and Cure” at the India International Centre, Justice Venkatachaliah had emphasised that the real danger to the democratic system came from its practitioners and drawn a link between elected representatives who do not actually represent their constituents and their declining quality.

Nearly 60 per cent of successful candidates in the last few general elections won on minority support; the majority had favoured other candidates who lost as their votes were split. Urging civil society to pressurise the political formations to introduce a serious dose of reforms in the electoral process, the former CJI acknowledged that political parties – who suspect it would lead to “political disarmament” – were unlikely to push electoral reforms on their own.

“Get over the sense of cynicism,” Justice Venkatachaliah told the audience; emphasising that it was important that people kept on speaking out against what was wrong.

There were “very good men” in politics too, he said. Former attorney general Soli J Sorabjee said there was another risk in learning to live with problems like corruption and not speaking out. “If you accept corruption as inevitable, you will get more corruption,” Sorabjee said.

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First Published: Nov 01, 2006 01:08 IST