Treat as representation PIL for model procedure for internal polls of political parties:HC to ECI

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to treat as a representation a PIL seeking framing of a model procedure for intra-party polls and its incorporation in the constitution of all the political parties in the country.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the ECI to decide the representation in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case.

With the direction, the bench disposed of the petition by C Rajashekaran, a lawyer who was also one of the founding members of Kamal Haasan's political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM).

Rajashekaran, represented by advocate Abhimanyu Tewari, had claimed that there was a lack of regulatory oversight by ECI of the internal elections in political parties.

In his petition, he had further claimed that ECI had in 1996 issued a letter to all recognised national and state political parties and registered unrecognised parties stating therein that various provisions relating to the organisational elections were not being followed by them and calling upon them to follow their respective constitutions relating to said elections scrupulously. The petition had alleged that internal elections of most parties 'are often an eyewash for established political families within the said parties to continue to retain power as the top leadership of said party'. 'The lack of internal democracy in political parties, as opposed to other private organisations/institutions, has a significant bearing on the nation's governance, as the lack of transparency and internal democracy in political parties are often reflected in similar non-democratic governance models when said political parties come to power,' the petition had contended.

The petition had claimed that data provided by ECI shows that a total of 2,598 political parties are registered in the country with their own distinct symbol provided by the commission. 'However, various political parties out of the registered ones do not mandatorily conduct intra-party elections, and as such, no steps have been taken by the Election Commission to address the same,' the petition had claimed. PTI HMP RKS RKS