IASToppers Editorial
Editorial Simplified

How to curb ‘Invisible money’ in polls? [Editorial Simplified]

It should be obvious that political parties will have no objection to the electoral bonds system as it allows them to raise money with ‘anonymity’. So, the Minister should ask the question to parties which stand to lose ‘invisible money’ if it is eliminated.
By IASToppers' Editorial Board
August 28, 2017

Contents

  • Why in news?
  • The Law
  • Action
  • Results of Action
  • Steps taken to reduce invisibility
  • Steps needed to be taken
  • RTI and Political Parties
  • Conclusion

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GS (M) Paper-2: “Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.”

 

Why in news?

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently gave the statement about the failure of Election Commission to curb ‘invisible Money’ in polls.
  • It is not a common thing for a senior Minister to make such an unfavorable remark against a constitutional body in public.

The Law

  • The Election Commission (EC) works in accordance with Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People Act (RP Act), 1951 and the rules framed by the Government and various judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court.
  • EC has not been given the power to frame the rules under the RP Act by successive governments, which includes the current one.

Action

  • EC sent 47 proposals in December 2016 including those for “Election expenses and election petitions”, “Election Campaign and advertisements”, and “Reforms relating to political parties.”
  • The government’s action if any, are not available in the public domain.
  • The Supreme Court has directed reforms in its decisions with the government and Parliament attempting to amend laws to prevent implementation of the judgment.
  • The Law Commission issued second report on the same issue as previous one has been considered as outdated in March 2015 titled “Election Finance Reform”.

Results of Action

  • Most of the reform proposals by the EC have not been acted upon.

Steps taken to reduce invisibility

  • The other significant proposals that the Budget made were as under:
  • To remove the limit of 7.5% on profits that a company can donate to a political party.
  • To remove the requirement that the company making a donation to a political party disclose the name of the party and the amount donated.

Steps needed to be taken

  • It should be obvious that political parties will have no objection to the electoral bonds system as it allows them to raise money with ‘anonymity’.
  • So, the Minister should ask the question to parties which stand to lose ‘invisible money’ if it is eliminated.

RTI and Political Parties

  • A petition is filed in the Supreme Court to get the decision of the CIC implemented, the government said in a sworn affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court that political Parties should not be under the purview of the RTI Act.
  • The petition is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Conclusion

There must be the proper ground on which the political parties should manage their funds. The stand of the government in the Supreme Court is further evidence of what the government is not willing to do.

[Ref: The Hindu]

 

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