It is indeed regretting that Union Law Ministry has rejected much-desired and long-awaited recommendation of Election Commission for imposing a ban on contesting polls by defaulters of government-dues like of house-rent, electricity, telephone etc.
RTI response had revealed that there have been Parliamentarians having died with pending heavy dues of millions each for telephone, electricity, water etc. despite the fact that heavy free units are given to Parliamentarians for such essential services. It is shame on Indian system that even persons posted on highly dignified post of Prime Minister are defaulters of dues for use of Indian Air Force (IAF) aircrafts for non-official purposes like also poll-campaign. Since, either the earlier or now the present government is willing to implement much-needed poll-reform to impose ban on defaulters of government-dues, Supreme Court should sue-motto intervene for implementation of the same. It is indeed unfortunate that such simple reforms require intervention of courts.
Rather rule should be auto-deduction of dues from salaries of Parliamentarians. Remaining dues should be deducted from pensions which may not be paid till complete pending dues are paid or deducted. Either the Prime Minister or political party sponsoring that Prime Minister on post may be asked to deposit advance-money for use of IAF aircrafts for non-official use. For previous recoveries, defaulting Prime Ministers must not be allowed to contest any election, their pensions and other entitlements like having a government-bungalow should be withhold till due are cleared. They may not be posted on any official-post. Parties having sponsored such defaulting ex-Prime Ministers should be derecognised.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)