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Karat petitions Kalam against EC on office of profit complaint

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 13 (UNI) Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat has petitioned President APJ Abdul Kalam against the Election Commission, which it says went out of the way to give credence to a ''frivolous'' complaint against several of its MPs.

Though the complaint filed by a person identified as Mukul Roy on the letter head of the Trinamool Congress did not substantiate its claim with documents, the EC ''called upon'' Mr Roy to make out a case against the MPs, says a letter written to Dr Kalam by the Marxist leader.

According to Mr Karat, the EC exceeded its authority when it asked Mr Roy to submit the ''precise information'' about the date of appointment of each of the MPs to the offices stated to be held by them as well as furnish ''all relevant information/documents'' by which he proposes to back his contention.

''We strongly believe that there has been an unwarranted and unjustified exercise of power and authority on the part of the Election Commission of India - unwarranted because it has violated basic norms of jurisprudence, and unjustified because it has transgressed all rules of fair play,'' Mr Karat says.

The EC's order on March 24 on Mr Roy's complaint was ''illegal and unconstitutional'' especially since the Commission has chosen to step into the arena of controversy, something that it should have eschewed, he says.

The CPI (M) obtained a copy of Mr Roy's complaint and the copy of the EC order after its Rajya Sabha member Nilotpal Basu, one of the MPs named in the complaint, wrote to the commission for the documents.

In his letter, Mr Karat questions why the EC ''quite gratuitously'' went on to call upon Mr Roy to furnish details like date of appointment to the alleged offices of profit whereas it was incumbent upon the Commission to reject the complaint and give its opinion to the President that there as not even the slightest case against the MPs.

''It is well established, a view shared by many eminent lawyers, that no judicial or quasi-judicial authority can seek to obtain materials from a party with a view to make out a cause of action, where none is disclosed,'' says Mr Karat.

Surprisingly, instead of so doing, the EC sought to give an opportunity to the so-called complainant to try to make out a case, he adds.

The EC, he says, should not proceed with the complaint against the CPI (M) MPs and reject it along with its own order on March 24.

Following the complaint, the EC put up on its website the names of 43 MPs, including that of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

UNI FZ SB BD1437

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