EC has no right to advice BJP on Varun: Arun Jaitley

via PTI published on March 23, 2009

New Delhi: BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley today said the Election Commission had no right to advice to debar Varun Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha elections and suggested that it should instead stop candidates with a criminal background from entering the fray.
“The power to advice as to who should be the party’s candidate and who should not be the candidate does not rest with the Election Commission,” Jaitley told reporters here.

The BJP leader said “debarment and disqualification of candidates is strictly covered under Article 102 of the Constitution. The ultimate effect of which is upon conviction in an offence for three years and more.

He wondered “how can the EC suggest that even when a charge sheet has not been filed we (EC) advice you not to put him (Varun) up as a candidate…What the EC does not have the power to do directly, it cannot do indirectly”.

Jaitley said today political parties were putting up candidates “convicted for terrorism under TADA. They have been convicted under section 302 of the IPC in some cases.” Apparently referring to Samajwadi Party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow Sanjay Dutt, the BJP leader said, “They are all moving courts for permission (to contest)”.

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