The Election Commission of India is likely to get contempt powers. A letter has been written to the Union Law Ministry seeking contempt powers. An amendment to the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 has been sought so that the powers are given to the ECI as well.
The move comes in the wake of several political parties questioning the credibility of the ECI. Parties such as the Aam Admi Party have been accusing the ECI of tampering with the EVMs to favour the ruling party.
Currently the ECI has no power to act against anyone for contempt. The power to slap contempt charges against a person or party lies with the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
The ECI in its letter cited examples of other commissions which have contempt powers. It says that even the Election Commission of Pakistan has been granted contempt powers. The ECI cited the case in Pakistan where contempt charges were slapped by the Pakistan commission against Imran Khan.
The letter by the ECI was written a month back to the Law Ministry. The ministry is currently examining the letter. After holding consultations with legal experts, the Law Ministry will take a final call on the matter.