EC bars hearings by CM, Ministers in poll-bound states
New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The Election Commission on Saturday asked all the poll-bound states to defer public hearings by the Chief Minister, Ministers or politically-appointed office bearers of statutory bodies till the conclusion of assembly polls.
It has directed the state administration that any such hearing, if necessary, should be held by a senior officer nominated by the state Chief Secretary.
“It has been brought to the notice of the Election Commission that the Chief Minister, Ministers or politically appointed office bearers of statutory bodies continue to hear appeals filed by persons under various prevailing laws in the states even when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force,” the EC said in a letter.
It said that any such hearings by ministers etc “may have direct or indirect influence” on voters and also “may disturb the level playing field”.
“Considering the facts and circumstances, the Commission has directed that all such hearings by Chief Minister, Ministers or politically-appointed office bearers of statutory bodies should be deferred till the conclusion of poll in all constituencies,” it said.
The EC added that if any such hearing is required to be held “in compliance with the mandatory provisions of law/any court order”, such hearing should be held by a Secretary level Officer nominated by the Chief Secretary concerned.