EC rejects demand to record dissenting views in its orders

Photo: PIB

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday decided that all dissenting opinions and minority decisions concerning violation of model code of conduct (MCC) will not be made part of final orders and the existing procedures will be followed.

“In the meeting of the Election Commission held today regarding the issue of MCC, it was decided that proceedings of the Commission meeting would be drawn including the views of all the commission members. Thereafter, formal instructions to this effect would be issued in consonance with extant laws/rules, etc,” an Election Commission statement said.

The meeting was called after a controversy erupted over Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa writing to the Chief Election Commissioner Suil Arora that the dissenting view should be recorded.

Arora had on Saturday termed a the controversy “unsavoury and avoidable” and had said that it had come at a time when all the CEOs (Chief Electoral Officers) and their teams across the country were geared towards the seventh and last phase of polling.

The CEC had insisted that Lavasa’s letter on the MCC was an internal matter of the poll panel.

Arora said there had been differences between the Election Commission (EC) members in the past, but he believed that “eloquence of silence” was far more desirable “than creating ill-timed controversies”.

“The three members of the ECI are not expected to be templates or clones of each other. There have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can and should be.

“But the same largely remained within the confines of ECI till demission of office. Unless appearing much later in a book written by the concerned ECs (Election Commissioners) or CECs,” he said.

Arora said he had personally never shied away from a public debate whenever required “but there is time for everything”.

In his letter to Arora, Lavasa recused himself from attending full commission meetings held to decide on MCC violations, after his dissent on the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on their respective speeches, went unrecorded.
Sources said that decision’at Tuesday’s meeting was taken by 2-1 majority.

The three-member “Full Commission” consists of the CEC and two Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.

Published on: May 21, 2019 at 22:22 IST