PIL in Gujarat HC for electoral reforms in local body polls

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Ahmedabad, Oct 12: A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed before the Gujarat High Court today seeking its direction in bringing various reforms in the election process of local body polls in the state. The PIL has been filed before the bench comprising acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and justice N V Anjaria.

The PIL, filed by city-based lawyer K R Koshti, argued that the nomination form and affidavit of candidates submitted to the State Election Commission(SEC) are not put under detailed inquiry or scrutiny in absence of the supporting documents, particularly about the educational qualification of poll candidates.

PIL in Gujarat HC for electoral reforms

"It is submitted that in recent times, there were cases of defective affidavits, fake degrees, false affidavits, concealment of important information by elected representative," it said.

"The candidate should attach notarised copies of relevant documents of self, spouse and dependents in respect of the educational qualification, assets and liabilities and holdings..and also the documents with regard to criminal records," the PIL said.

The petitioner further sought a direction from the court to bring more transparency in the election process by making it compulsory for candidates to put their criminal record on their publicity material. "In the pamphlet, posters and other canvassing materials, the candidate are not giving the details about their criminal records and therefore the voters are not aware of the antecedents of the candidate."

"It is the right of the citizen to know the antecedents of the candidate...it is required that candidates must provide the details of their criminal record in pamphlets, banners, posters and other canvassing material," the PIL stated. It has also sought the HC's direction to the SEC as well as Gujarat government to make necessary rules regarding the same and implement it in local body polls. The HC has scheduled the next hearing on Wednesday.

PTI

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