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Report No. 255

A. History of Reform Proposals

3.4. The 1999 Law Commission Report strongly recommended the introduction of a regulatory framework governing the internal structures and inner democracy of parties, financial transparency, and accountability before attempting state funding of elections. The 170th Report recommended the insertion of Sections 11A-I in the RPA dealing with the "Organisation of Political Parties and matters incidental thereto" on the premise that a political party "cannot be a dictatorship internally, and democratic in its functioning outside."134

134. LCI, 170th Report, supra note 108, at paras, 4.3.4.

3.5. Apart from the concerns articulated earlier, the NCRWC recommended:

"The rules and by-laws of the parties seeking registration should include provisions for: (a) A declaration of adherence to democratic values and norms of the Constitution in their inner party organisations,"135

135. NCRWC Report, supra note 13, at para 4.32

3.6. The ARC's 2008 Ethics and Governance report also alluded to the importance of inner party democracy when it noted that corruption is caused by over-centralisation since "the more remotely power is exercised from the people, the greater is the distance between authority and accountability."136

136. ARC Report, supra note 119, at para 1.9

3.7. In 2011, a draft Political Parties (Registration and Regulation of Affairs, etc.) Act, 2011 was prepared under the guidance of Justice Venkatachalaih and submitted to the Law Ministry. Section 6 of the draft Act envisaged the creation of an Executive Committees for every political party, whose members would be elected by members of the local committees of the State units of the party, and who themselves would elect the office-bearers of the party from amongst themselves (without accepting any nominations).

The Executive Committee was also empowered to elect candidates for contesting Parliamentary and State, having due regard to the recommendations made by the State and District units of the constituency. The Act further provided for all decisions of the Executive and local committees to be taken on the basis of a simple majority vote with secret ballots.137

137. ADR/NEW, Recommendations for Electoral Reforms, April 2011,
<> at 75.

3.8. Thus, a perusal of the above reports makes clear that internal democracy includes provisions governing internal elections, candidate selection, secret ballots, and registration and deregistration of parties.

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