Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has recused himself from all meetings of the Election Commission (EC) to discuss Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations over his "minority decisions going unrecorded," reported NDTV.
The Election Commission comprises three members, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. According to the poll body's rules, though preference is given to a unanimous view, a majority decision is also allowed.
Lavasa wrote to Arora on 16 May, saying, "Minority decisions recorded by me in several cases continue to be suppressed in a manner contrary to well-established conventions observed by multi-member statutory bodies."
"...It appears futile for me to participate in the deliberations of the commission until its lawful functioning is restored in terms of including the minority decisions recorded by me," he said.
"In the present circumstances, I am left with no option but to keep away from such proceedings. I may also take recourse to other requisite measures in respect of the above (lawful functioning of EC in terms of including my minority views)," Lavasa wrote.
After Lavasa wrote to Arora, the Chief Election Commissioner had called a meeting with him.
According to Arora, minority views can be recorded in the orders only in quasi-judicial proceedings.
Since the poll body's decisions on complaints of MCC violations are not quasi-judicial proceedings, there is no need to record minority views, according to him.
On 4 May, the EC gave a clean chit to PM Modi for a speech he delivered in Gujarat on 21 April.
During that speech, PM Modi claimed his government ensured the safe return of IAF Wing Commander, Abhinandan Varthaman, by keeping Pakistan on its toes.
This was the EC's last decision on MCC violation complaints as no meetings were held since 4 May.
Arora on Saturday also issued a statement over Lavasa's letter. He said that members of the poll panel "are not expected to be template or clones of each other."
He added, "...There have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can, and should be."
"But the same (diversion of views) largely remained within confines of ECI after demission of office unless appearing much later in a book written by the concerned ECs/CECs. I personally never shied away from a public debate... but there is time for everything," Arora said.
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