Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.
The Official Secrets Act (OSA) has been in the news recently due to the debate over ‘stolen documents’ in Rafale case. The Attorney-General has suggested “criminal action” against those responsible for making ‘stolen documents’ public.OSA is a colonial-era law that seeks to ensure secrecy and confidentiality in governance especially on national security and espionage issues.However, successive governments have faced criticism for misusing the law against journalists and whistleblowers thus violating their right to freedom of speech and expression.
Recently, the Supreme Court gave the Lokpal search committee time till February-end for shortlisting a panel of names of chairperson and members of the Lokpal. The court has for the past several months been constantly urging the government to complete the Lokpal appointment. However, the complicated and legal technicalities led to the delay in the appointment of Lokpal.
Recently, hundreds of activists from different parts of the country gathered in New Delhi to oppose the proposed amendments to the RTI Act and demanding operationalization of anti-corruption laws. They highlighted that the government is undermining the RTI Act by means of the proposed amendment bill and also by not appointing information commissioners.