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Law Commission to clear stand on One Nation One Election, minimum age of consent under POCSO today

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New Delhi | September 27, 2023 8:44:26 AM IST
The Law Commission of India is all set to hold a meeting with all its members on Wednesday to finalise its report on the issue of holding simultaneous elections in the country.

Also, the Commission under the chairmanship of Justice Rituraj Awasthi will meet to finalise the Commission's recommendation and clear its stand on the simultaneous elections, on the minimum age of consent under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and on the law to provide for online filing of First Information Reports (FIR).

After the finalisation of the recommendations on the issues, the 22nd Law Commission will be sending its reports to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Sources privy to the development have informed ANI that 'One Nation One Election' would be beneficial not only in the national interest but would also save a lot of the financial reserves of the government.

Another observation that the Commission recieved is that voter turnout increases when elections are held after a substantial period of time implying that simultaneous elections could actually result in higher voter turnouts, according to Law Commission sources.

In the meeting on Wednesday, the Commission will also finalise its report on the question of whether the age of consent under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act can be reduced from 18 to 16.

The Law Commission is currently of the view that the same can't be done, however, the Commission would be craving out some exceptions in this regard, the sources said.

The High-Level Committee constituted recently to examine the issue of holding simultaneous elections in the country and make recommendations thereon held its preliminary meeting here under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind on September 23, 2023.

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah, Minister of State (Independent Charge) from the Ministry of Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal, former Rajya Sabha leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission NK Singh, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari attended the meeting. Senior Advocate Harish Salve had joined the meeting virtually.

The leader of the single largest party in the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was not present in the meeting.

Welcoming the members of the High-Level Committee, the Chairman of the Committee Ram Nath Kovind outlined the agenda of the meeting.

Outlining the modalities of working of the Committee, the Committee decided to invite recognised national political parties, political parties in power in different states, political parties having their representatives in Parliament and other recognised state political parties to seek suggestions or viewpoints on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country.

The Committee was put together ahead of the assembly elections to five states later this year and the Lok Sabha polls next year, setting off speculations that the polls might be held at the same time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched the idea of 'One Nation, One Election' on several occasions.

In November 2020, PM Modi, addressing a conference of presiding officers, said, One Nation, One Election is a necessity for India. There is an election every month in the country, hampering development. Why should so much public money be wasted on holding elections?" (ANI)

 
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