Ministry of Law and Justice
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Press Communique

Posted On: 18 DEC 2021 7:41PM by PIB Delhi

Several proposals of Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding Electoral Reforms have been pending for a long time. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) has addressed several letters including Letter No 3/1/2011/SDR/480 dated 3.02.2011, Letter No 3/ER/2013/SDR dated 14.05.2013 and Letter No 3/ER/2018/SDR /409   dated 08.07.2020 to the Law Minister that the pending reforms may be considered expeditiously. Legislative Department is the nodal department regarding matters related to Election Commission and regular interaction takes place between officials of ECI and Legislative department.

Previously, several meetings were held by the Cabinet Secretary and the PMO  regarding  Common Electoral roll. The PMO ID dated 12.11.2021 regarding a meeting on Common Electoral Roll to be held on 16.11.2021 was addressed to the Cabinet Secretary, Law Secretary and Secretary, Legislative Department. It was not addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner.  Since Election Commission of India has the necessary expertise and mandate regarding Electoral roll and in the light of the previous letters of the Chief Election Commissioner addressed to the Law Minister, Secretary, Legislative Department thought it appropriate to invite   officials of Election Commission to this meeting.

Accordingly, Under Secretary, Legislative Department sent a letter No F. No.H-11021/6/2020-Leg.2 dated 15.11.2021 to the Secretary, Election Commission of India (ECI) to attend the meeting on 16.11.2021.  The letter was addressed to Secretary and the final operative paragraph of the letter also requested Secretary, Election Commission of India to attend the meeting.  After receipt of the letter by the ECI, the Chief Election Commissioner spoke to Secretary, Legislative Department expressing his displeasure over the expression in the middle part of the letter which gave an impression that it was expected of the CEC to attend the meeting. Secretary, Legislative Department clarified that the letter was for Secretary or a representative of the CEC familiar with the subject to attend the meeting.

This meeting on 16.11.2021 was a virtual meeting and no physical meeting was organized in the PMO. The said virtual meeting was attended by the Officials of Government of India and officials of Election Commission of India. After the meeting of Officials, certain issues required further fine-tuning.  These issues include the number of qualifying dates for updation of electoral roll, some aspects of Aadhaar linkage and requisition of premises.  

After the Official meeting, a separate informal interaction was held virtually with the Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners.  It may be noted that the discussion was held together with all three Commissioners of ECI, and virtually.

It is important to note that subsequent to these deliberations with the Election Commission, a proposal was drafted by the Legislative Department which was placed for consideration before the Union Cabinet that has approved proposal for introducing “The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 during the current session of the Parliament.

It is reiterated that the Legislative Department organises meetings with officers of the Election Commission and other relevant government departments in matters related to electoral reforms.  The meeting of 16.11.2021 was to finalise the Cabinet Note on some of the reforms and it was held virtually.  The subsequent interaction with the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners was an informal one and meant for ironing out two or three aspects for the final proposal.

***

HKM/GK



(Release ID: 1783090) Visitor Counter : 1017