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EC demand for contempt powers rejected: Government

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The government has rejected the Election Commission’s demand to confer on it powers to initiate contempt proceedings against those maligning its image as “inconsistent” with law, parliament was told on Friday.

Minister of State for Law and Justice P.P. Chaudhary informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday in a written reply that the government examined the various aspects of the issue before rejecting it.

“The proposal was examined from legal and constitutional scheme of things as also in the light of various judicial observations and pronouncements in the past.

“It has been opined that the conferment of power of contempt on the Election Commission may be inconsistent with the law laid down by the Supreme Court,” he said.

The EC had demanded the contempt powers like a court of law, weeks after several political parties, notably Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, cast aspersions over the poll panel’s neutrality in the wake of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

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