- The Election Commission of India has curtailed campaigning in West Bengal for the final phase of the general election shutting down election campaigning 19 hours earlier than it was to end.It has also removed the state’s Home Secretary and a senior police officer.
- This order comes after violence was reported in West Bengal during which a statue of the Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar,one of the foremost icons of the Bengal Renaissance was destroyed.
- EC had invoked powers under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution which states that superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.This is the first time that such a ban on campaigning has been ordered in the history of India.
- The Supreme Court in Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr vs The Chief Election Commissioner(1977) had held that Article 324 operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation and the words ‘superintendence, direction and control as well as conduct of all elections are the broadest terms.The Constitution has not defined these terms.
- Parliament enacted The Representation of the People Act,1950 and The Representation of the People Act,1951 to define and enlarge the powers of the Election Commission.
- The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act,1988 (Act 1 of 1989) introduced Section 28A in the RP Act of 1951 which said that all officers deployed for the conduct of an election shall be deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission from the notification of the election to the declaration of the results.Such officers shall during that period be subject to the control, superintendence and discipline of the Election Commission.
- The Representation of the People Act,1951 is an act of Parliament of India which provides (a)the conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and the House of the Legislature of each State (b)the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses and (c)the corrupt practices,decisions,doubts and disputes arising in connection with such elections
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