Why Modi’s mischievous and misleading statement on Per Capita Income in Haryana is a violation of Art. 324 (Free and fair Elections) and the Election Commission of India should take cognizance?
Article 324 of Constitution of India provides for constitutional obligations of Election Commission of India of ‘superintendence, direction and control’ of all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State.
Election Commission of India is the fountain head of preservation, protection and upholding the purity of the entire electoral process. Article 324 of Constitution of India gives ample & inherent powers to Election Commission of India to proceed to issue appropriate directions and orders in all areas where there is no specific legislation.
LAW LAID DOWN BY THE APEX COURT
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA – Resurgence India vs Election Commission Of India & Anr on 13 September, 2013
“In our view, democracy cannot survive without free and fair election, without free and fairly informed voters. Votes cast by uninformed voters in favor of X or Y candidate would be meaningless. As stated in the aforesaid passage, one-sided information, disinformation, misinformation and non-information, all equally create an uninformed citizenry, which makes democracy a farce. Therefore, casting of vote by a misinformed and non-informed voter or a voter having one-sided information only is bound to affect the democracy seriously.”
This has also been so laid down by Supreme Court of India in case titled as ‘Union of India vs. Association for Democratic Reforms’, (2002) 5 SCC 294. Relevant portion is being reproduced herein-below for kind perusal:-
Thereafter, the Court dealt with the scope of Article 324 and observed (in para 39) thus: (SCC p.431)
Article 324, in our view, operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation and the words ‘superintendence, direction and control, as well as ‘conduct of all elections’, are broadest terms.”
“46. To sum up the legal and constitutional position which emerges from the aforesaid discussion, it can be stated that:
2. The limitation of plenary character of power is when Parliament or State Legislature has made a valid law relating to or in connection with elections, the Commission is required to act in conformity with the said provisions. In case where law is silent, Article 324 is a reservoir of power to act for the avowed purpose of having free and fair election. The Constitution has taken care of leaving scope for exercise of residuary power by the Commission in its own right as a creature of the Constitution in the infinite variety of situations that may emerge from time to time in a large democracy, as every contingency could not be foreseen or anticipated by the enacted laws or the rules.”