ECI reprimands Dileep Sanghani for code of conduct violation

Ahmedabad, 19 October 2012

The Election Commission of India (ECI) reprimanded Gujarat Agriculture and Law minister Dileep Sanghani for violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Sanghani was served a notice on 9 October and was asked to reply it till October 15 to submit his written reply to the commission.

According to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Gujarat, Anita Karwal, The minister had performed ground-breaking ceremony for a paved road in Amreli municipality area of Saurashtra on October 4. With the MCC in effect no minister can attend such functions. Karwal had received a CD (compact disc) with video clippings of the ceremony, showing someone assuring the people to remember ‘December 13’, which was enough to ascertain that the function was held after the model code had come into effect.

Karwal had sent a report about the CD to the ECI, New Delhi considering it as violation of Section 7 (6) (b) of MCC, which says that from the time the elections have been announced, the party in power, be it ministers or other leaders, cannot perform any such functions of projects or schemes of any sort.

ECI order
19 October 2012

Whereas, the commission announced on 03 October, 2012, the election schedule for general elections to the legislative assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and the announcement of such election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct became effective from 3rd October, 2012 in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and whereas on 07th October 2012 the Commission received through Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat a complaint (in Gujarati) of Sh. Nathalal V Sukhadia Post Devalia Taluka and District Amreli and an inquiry report of Collector cum DEO Amreli and R) 95 Amreli AC, along with video CD of a function alleging that Shri Dilip Sanghani, Agriculture Minister, Government of Gujarat had violated the Model Code of Conduct by laying foundation stone for road works in Balavadi area of Amreli Municipality on 4.10.2012 and whereas, the Commission obtained a CD and transcription of speeches made in the said foundation stone-laying function where Shri Dilip Sanghani, Minister Agriculture, Government of Gujarat, participated after announcement of election and after seeing them was prima facie satisfied that Shri Dilip Sanghani had violated the provisions of sub-para (V) (B) of Para VII of Model code of conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates, and whereas the commission therefore Shri Dilip Sanghani with a notice on 9th October 2012 to explain by 15th October, 2012 as to why action should not be taken against him for violating the aforesaid provisions of the model code of conduct, and whereas Shri Dilip Sanghani filed his reply on 12th October, 2012 wherein he denied having laid the aforesaid foundation stone on 4th October, 2012 or having participated in any such foundation stone laying function, and stated that he only attended a public function organized by the BJP in which no government officer participated, nor any government expenditure incurred, and thus he had not violated the model code of conduct provisions and the complaint made against him was frivolous and made with a malafide intentions and whereas the Commission after carefully considering his reply and witnessing the CD of the said function and perusing the transcripts of the speeches made by Shri Dilip Sanghani and others at the said function, is of the considered view that he duly participated in foundation stone laying ceremony(khat mahurat) of road works in Batarvadi area of Amreli Municipality on 4-10-2012, and thereby violated Model code of conduct.

Now therefore, the Commission hereby reprimands Shri Dilip Sanghani, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Gujarat for the aforesaid violation of the Model code of conduct and cautions him to be careful in future.

Harbans Singh

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