ECI dismisses complaint seeking deregistration of NDPP

ECI dismisses complaint seeking deregistration of NDPP
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Dimapur, February 9: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has dismissed the complaint filed by Zeneisilie Ate Loucii seeking cancellation of registration of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party.
Zeneisiile Ate Loucii had complained to the ECI on May 7, 2018 and made allegations with regard to the registration of the NDPP as a political party under Section 29A of the ‘1951’Act and sought a direction from the Commission withdrawing the registration of the Party.
The complainant had alleged that the party obtained its registration by fraud, having filed false affidavits of its President, 3 General Secretaries and 11members, in violation of paragraphs 3(viii) and 3(ix) of the Guidelines and Application Format for Registration of Political Party issued by the Commission under Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 29A.ofthe 1951 Act.
The Commission carefully considered and analysed the written and oral submissions made by the learned Senior Counsels and learned counsels on behalf of the complainant and the respondent party.
The ECI in its observation summed up that there being no express provision in the Act or in the Symbol Order to cancel the registration of a political party, and as such no proceeding for de-registration can be taken by the Election Commission against a political party for having violated the terms of Section 29A (5) of the Act on the complaint of the respondent.
It also observed that the Election Commission while exercising its power to register a political party under Section 29A of the Act, acts quasi-judicially and decision rendered by it is a quasi-judicial order and once a political party is registered, no power of review having conferred on the Election Commission, it has no power to review the order registering a political party for having violated the provisions of the Constitution or for having committed breach of undertaking given to the Election Commission at the time of registration.’
However, there are exceptions to the principle stated where the Election Commission is not deprived of its power to cancel the ‘registration. The exceptions are: (a) where a political party has obtained registration by practicing fraud or forgery; (b) where a-registered political party amends its nomenclature of association, rules and-regulations abrogating therein conforming to the provisions of Section 29A(5) of the Act or intimating the Election Commission that it has ceased to have faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India or to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy or it would not uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity
Of India so as to comply the provisions of Section 29A(5) of the Act; and (c) any like ground where no enquiry is called for on the part of the Commission.
The ECI judgment said that the three exceptions to the general rule that the Commission cannot cancel registration are vital to decide the issue at hand in this case.
The ECI observed that for acting against a party on the ground of fraud practiced for obtaining registration, it would be only those cases where forgery/fraud is manifest from the documents before the Commission, the Commission would be empowered to cancel registration. The Commission cannot embark on an enquiry for this purpose, it said.
The ECI also found the allegations that government officials were part of the NDPP and had submitted affidavits as ‘not relevant’ and that cannot be a ground for cancellation of registration. It said such allegations could be a matter of departmental action against the officials, if their conduct violates any service rules.
“In view of the factual and legal position brought out above, the Commission holds that case for cancellation of registration of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is not made out. Consequently, the other reliefs for’ cancellation of recognition, . ..etc. also do not survive,” the 17-page judgment said and dismissed the complaint.
When contacted NDPP sources also said that the petition against the party to cancel the registration has been dismissed by the ECI. (Page News Service)