NEWDELHI: A day after the voting concluded in the marathon Assembly polls held in the five states, the Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi reiterated that the powers vested in the model code of conduct were sufficient to take decisive action against those flouting it, though there was scope for tweaking it by increasing the fines for MCC violations.
Insisting that the Election Commission did not need any more powers, Quraishi told reporters on Sunday that the model code of conduct was “sufficient.”
“But we need to fine-tune and update certain provisions of the Representation of People’s Act to make penalties for violation of MCC more stringent,” he said.
The senior bureaucrat, who has been in the top job for close to two years, pointed out that there was a fine of only `500 for violations, “which needs to be updated, to bring it in line with the current realities.”
On the Centre’s move to give a statutory backing to the Model code of conduct, Quraishi said he had seen the note after it was brought to him by a journalist.
He said it would dilute the MCC’s powers, as it would have removed it from the Election Commission to the domain of the judiciary.“If such matters go to court, it will take six to seven years... It is very effective now,” he added.
The CEC said that following the outcry over the move, it is unlikely that the government will now press ahead with the plan. Quraishi said he “felt hurt” when the EC was accused by certain quarters .