SC to see whether EC can de-register a party

 The Supreme Court on Friday said that it will examine whether the Election Commission could de-register political parties if they have convicted or tainted politicians as office bearers.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud agreed to examine if the poll panel can take recourse to Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, which provides for the registration of political parties with the EC, to do this.

The court decided to examine the provision while refusing to entertain a plea by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction that no convicted politician could be an office bearer of a political party, saying that it would amount to venturing in the area of law making.

Upadhyay is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

As law stands today, the Election Commission can register a political party and also recognise it as a national or state-level party depending on the percentage of votes polled by it but it does not have the power to de-register a political party.

Ashwani Kumar is seeking that Section 29A of the electoral act should be so read as to mean that the power to register and recognise a political party by the Election Commission also means de-registering them.

Section 29A says that any association or body of individual citizens of India calling itself a political party and intending to avail itself of the provisions of the part II of the Representation of People Act shall make an application to the EC for its registration as a political party.

-IANS