Conduct code violation no ground to set aside election: Court

January 8th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Violation of the model code of conduct of the Election Commission is no ground to set aside the election of a candidate as the guidelines do not have legal sanctity, a Delhi court has ruled.The model code of conduct apparently has no statutory backing and many of its provisions are not legally enforceable and it is the political parties which have themselves consented to abide by the principles embodied in the code, Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said in a ruling this week.

The court said violation of the code could be no ground for setting aside the election of a candidate under the Delhi Municipal Act.

The court’s observations have come on a petition of Khem Chand Koli of Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), challenging the election of Darshana Jatav of the Congress from the Bhogal municipal ward here.

Koli has alleged Jatav violated the model code of conduct during the councillors’ election in April 2007.

Dismissing the petition, the court said the model code is a sacrosanct document “which all political parties… are required to honour”.

The constitutional obligation cast upon the Election Commission is to ensure that the code’s compliance is in letter and spirit and its violation does not go unnoticed, unattended and unpunished, the court said.

The judge ordered the copy of the judgement to be sent to the State Election Commission (SEC) so that the authorities could act on a complaint that has already been lodged with it.

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