Model Code of Conduct- THE HINDU- 08-01-2020

What is the Model Code of Conduct?

The Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties and candidates is a set of norms which has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code and also binds them to respect and observe it in its letter and spirit.

The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections, to ensure free and fair elections.
This is in keeping with Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives the Election Commission the power to supervise elections to the Parliament and state legislatures.

In the case ofUnion of India v Harbans Sigh Jalal and Others, Supreme Court ruled that Code of Conduct would come into force the moment the Election Commission issues the press release, which precedes the notification by a good two weeks.
Thus, MCC remains in force from the date of announcement of elections till the completion of elections. It is applicable during Lok Sabha Elections, elections to State Legislative Assembly and also during by-elections.

However, the MCC does not have statutory backing and it remains only guidelines to be followed during elections and to be executed by the Election Commission of India.

What is applicability of code during general elections and bye-elections?
• During general elections to House of People (Lok Sabha), the code is applicable throughout the country.
• During general elections to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), the code is applicable in the entire State.
• During bye-elections, the code is applicable in the entire district or districts in which the constituency falls.

What are the salient features of the Model Code of Conduct?

The salient features of the Model Code of Conduct lay down how political parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power should conduct themselves during the process of elections i.e. on their general conduct during electioneering, holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the party in power etc.
Whether a Minister can combine his official visit with electioneering work? No, The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the electioneering work.

Whether Govt. can make transfers and postings of officials who are related to election work?

There shall be a total ban on the transfer and posting of all officers/officials directly or indirectly connected with the conduct of the election. If any transfer or posting of an officer is considered necessary, prior approval of the Commission shall be obtained.

Has the MCC been recently amended?
The Election Commission (EC) has amended the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and has prohibited political parties from releasing their manifestos in the last 48 hoursleading up to voting in each phase of the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Part of MCC Subject for guidance of political candidates &candidates
Part 1 General Conduct
Part 2 Meetings
Part 3 Procession
Part 4 Polling Day
Part 5 Polling Booth
Part 6 Observers
Part 7 Party in Power
Part 8 Guidelines on Election Manifestos

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