Law panel chief says Phase 3 UCC dialogue soon, supports simultaneous polls idea: Report
Law Commission chairperson Ritu Raj Awasthi said that more meetings are needed for finalising the report on simultaneous elections.
Law Commission has consulted a diverse range of experts and stakeholders, including religious scholars and representatives from various religious and women's organizations, for a comprehensive understanding of the issues surrounding the Uniform Civil Code, panel chairperson Ritu Raj Awasthi has said. In an interview with CNN-News18, justice (retd) Awasthi said the panel has been engaging in a multi-phase consultation process and the upcoming Phase 3 of the consultations will involve Law Commission representatives travelling to different districts. They plan to conduct conferences and public meetings to address misconceptions and provide information to the citizens, he added.
Awasthi reiterated that the finalisation of the report on the simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies would require some more meetings. He argued that holding simultaneous polls would make people “choose their leaders more wisely as the elections would only be held after a substantial period of time and hence people would not only come out in large numbers to vote but would also be voting in a much wiser manner.”
The Election Commission of India too has said it supports the idea, emphasising logistical, financial and legal feasibility based on its analysis and historical precedent.
“We’ve held extensive consultations with the Election Commission of India (ECI), which ultimately is the executing body when it comes to polls," Awasthi said. “The Election Commission of India is of the view that if given a required period of time, it can implement and execute such an electoral process."
An eight-member high-level panel headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind met for the first time last Saturday and discussed several aspects, including the possibility of a common voter ID card and electoral roll and the necessary modifications required in law.
The panel includes Union home minister Amit Shah, law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, former leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission chairman NK Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap, former chief vigilance commissioner Sanjay Kothari and noted lawyer Harish Salve. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the single-largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, had opted out of the committee, calling it an “eyewash” and an attempt to reach foregone conclusions.
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