Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Feb. 9: In what would come as a major relief for the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the Election Commission of India on Thursday passed an order dismissing a petition seeking de-recognition of the party on the ground that it had gone against the guideline of the EC.
The order came months after Zeneisiilie Ate Loucii of Zhadima village first filed a petition with the EC on Dec. 15, 2017, and again with additional documents on May 8, 2018 seeking cancellation of registration of NDPP under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, alleging that a few members of the political party had furnished false affidavits with the Commission. The petitioner also sought to initiate action against the members concerned under criminal law.
After hearings the complaint on several occasions, the Election Commission of India has passed its verdict in favour of NDPP, thus officially recognising it as a political party. “The commission has carefully considered and analysed the written and oral submission made by the learned senior counsels and learned counsels on behalf of the complainant and respondent party,” read the EC’s order made available by it under secretary on Feb. 8, a copy of which is with Eastern Mirror.
“In view of the factual and legal position brought out above (allegation and reply), the commission holds that case for cancellation of registration of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is not made out. Consequently, the other reliefs for cancellation of recognition, etc. also do not survive. The complaint is dismissed,” read the order.
The commission also said that it can’t embark on an enquiry on the case as the forgery/fraud is not found from the document in its possession.
Even as the EC disposed of the objection raised by the respondent party (NDPP) on the locus standi of the petitioner to file the complaint, saying that it is very much within the her right, it maintained that “it is not uncommon for members of one political party to cross over to another one” in a multi-party system. It said that there is no evidence to prove that the people mentioned in the complaint were members of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) on the day NDPP filed its affidavit or the date it submitted application for registration.
The NDPP had earlier stated in its reply to the petitioner’s complaint that its members had already tendered their resignation before joining the party and that the office bearers of the newly formed party were unanimously elected at a general body meeting which was published in the local newspapers on Sep. 8, 2017. It also claimed that the complaint was “politically motivated” and done at the behest of the NPF.
As per the guideline of the ECI, one of the requirements that is needed while applying for registration of a new political party is document with individual affidavits from at least 100 members of the party stating that they are registered electors and not members of any other political party registered with the Commission duly sworn before a first-class magistrate/oath commissioner/notary public.