Model Code of Conduct

Model Code of Conduct

Question: Which of the following statement is correct in reference to the Model Code of Conduct applied during elections?
1) This conduct is imposed by Home Ministry
2) It comes to effect with the announcement of schedule of polls
3) Article 324 of the Constitution gives the Election Commission the power to monitor Central and state governments, all the candidates and political parties
4) Government transport including official air-crafts, vehicles, machinery and personnel shall not be used for furtherance of the interest of the party in power
Choose the correct option:
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1, 2 and 4
(c) 2, 3 and 4
(d) All of the above
Answer: (c)
Related facts:

  • The Model Code of Conduct comes into force with the announcement of pooling dates by the Election Commissions. This is imposed by Election Commission of India.
  • The MCC is a set of guidelines to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections for ensuring free and fair elections.
  • Article 324 of the Constitution gives the Election Commission the power to monitor Central and state governments, all the candidates and political parties during the elections.
  • The present Code of Conduct got imposed on March 11, 2019 and will go on to be valid till May 19, 2019 i.e. the last phase of pools.

History:

  • A form of Model Code of Conduct was applied in the Kerala state assembly elections for the first time in 1960 instructing the political parties regarding election meetings, speeches, slogans, etc.
  • Election Commission later added a section in 1979 to regulate the ‘party in power’ and prevent it from gaining an unfair advantage at the time of elections. In 2013, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to include guidelines regarding election manifestos.

Provisions:

  • There are eight key provisions in the code of Conduct which deals general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, party in power, and election manifestos.
  • General conduct includes that criticism of political parties must be limited to their policies and programmes, past record and work. No use of caste and communal feelings to secure votes, bribery or intimidation of voters, and organising demonstrations.
  • Only voters, and those with a valid pass from the Election Commission, will be allowed to enter polling booths as per pooling day conduct.
  • The guidelines prohibit parties from making promises that put an extra influence on voters, and suggest that manifestos also indicate the means to achieve promises.
  • It is to be known that the Model Code of Conduct is not enforceable by law but certain provisions of it can be enforced by applying corresponding provisions in other statutes like Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Links:
https://www.prsindia.org/theprsblog/model-code-conduct-and-2019-general-elections
https://eci.gov.in/mcc/

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