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Elections & MCC

  • IASbaba
  • April 20, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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GOVERNANCE/ POLITY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. 

Elections & MCC

Article 324 contains plenary powers to ensure free and fair elections and these are vested in the ECI which can take all necessary steps to achieve this constitutional object.

The model code of conduct (MCC)

  • It issued by the ECI is a set of guidelines meant for political parties, candidates and governments to adhere to during an election. 
  • This code is based on consensus among political parties. Its origin can be traced to a code of conduct for political parties prepared by the Kerala government in 1960 for the Assembly elections. 
  • It was adopted and refined and enlarged by the ECI in later years, and was enforced strictly from 1991 onwards.

Challenges

  • Extent of Power: There exists a considerable amount of confusion about the extent and nature of the powers which are available to the ECI in enforcing the code as well as its other decisions in relation to an election.
  • Lacks Statutory backing: It is a code of conduct framed on the basis of a consensus among political parties, it has not been given any legal backing.
  • Utility of Status-quo vi-a-vis legal backing: If MCC becomes a part of law, all matters connected with the enforcement of the code will be taken to court, which would delay elections.
  • Transfers of Civil Servants: It is not clear whether the ECI can transfer a State government official in exercise of the general powers under Article 324 or under the model code.
  • Merely Guidelines: The code does not say what the ECI can do; it contains only guidelines for the candidates, political parties and the governments.

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