Kolkata, Dec 20: The Election Commission of India should be grateful to the Supreme Court for helping it conducting a fair election throughout the country, former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said on Saturday.
"We should be grateful to the Supreme Court. I have often said it and also written in the book that Supreme Court is our guardian angel," he said this evening at the launch of the third edition of his book An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election. [J&K assembly election 2014 coverage]
"Obviously the election commission's role that political parties do not very happily accepts. The Supreme Court has given us the power which was there in the Constitution but not becoming the reality," It was some 17-18 years back the Home Ministry used to provide us with one company of central armed force but it was the Supreme Court which said no and directed them to prioritise our demands, he said, adding: "Now we get 700-800 companies to ensure that there is no booth capturing."
Then the transparency in the elections brought in by the Supreme Court's directives has also helped the Commission conducting a fair election in the country. The two compulsory affidavits required to be filed by the candidate, the model code of conduct, he said.
"The Supreme Court has made it (affidavits)compulsory for the candidates to file it. They would not listen to us but if Supreme Court says then it becomes a law," Quarishi stated. The former Chief Election Commissioner further termed the country as a global "electoral superpower" despite the complexities involved in its election system.
"India has become the electoral superpower for the world. It is the global gold standard. This doesn't come easy and the world looks to us," he stressed.