We believe legal advocacy for Political and Electoral Reforms is as essential as any other research. Our commitment to this sphere has resulted in us filing numerous complaints and PILs with Central Information Commission, Supreme Court/ High Court as well as other Central and State agencies. This section documents all details of previous and ongoing RTI disclosures and PILs.


Supreme Court/High Court Orders

 

1) Disclosure of Candidate Background (Criminal, Educational & Financial) to Election Commission. 

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by ADR in December 1999 culminated into a landmark Supreme Court Judgement on May 2, 2002 and an ordinance on Electoral Reforms promulgated in August 2002. The Ordinance was subsequently passed as a Bill in December 2002. It partially overturned the May 2, 2002 Supreme Court Judgement, requiring disclosure of criminal background, but not of financial and educational background. ADR and two other petitioners challenged this Act. The Supreme Court, in a second landmark Judgement on March 13, 2003, struck down the Bill as unconstitutional and restored its earlier order. Subsequently, the Election Commission issued orders implementing the following judgements:

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

Delhi High Court's Judgment

2nd November 2000

Supreme Court's Judgment

2nd May 2002

Supreme Court's Judgment

13th March 2003

2) The Supreme Court's Judgement On NOTA. 

On a petition filed by Common Cause for having a separate button on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with the option of ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) and in which ADR later intervened, the Supreme Court gave a favourable ruling on 27th Sept. 2013. The NOTA button was inserted in the EVM machines first time during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

Supreme Court's Judgment

27th September 2013

3) Disqualification Of Convicted MPs/MLAs

On a petition filed by Lily Thomas and Lok Prahari NGO, where ADR also intervened, the Supreme Court stated that if a sitting MP/MLA is convicted (not only charged) then he/ she would be disqualified immediately and the seat would be declared as vacant, setting aside the Clause 8(4) of the Representation of People Act. The Clause 8(4) had provided special privilege to MPs/MLAs to hold the office even after conviction if an appeal has been filed in a higher court within the span of 3 months.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

Supreme Court's Judgment

10th July 2013

4) ADR' plea in SC to bring Political Parties under RTI

Urging the Supreme Court to declare all the national and regional political parties as "public authorities" and bring them within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and RTI activist Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal filed a petition in the Apex Court on 19th May 2015. The first hearing in the case took place on 7th July 2015 wherein the Apex Court admitted the plea and sought responses from all the national political parties, Election Commission and the Central government within six-week. Central Information Commission (CIC), on June 3, 2013, had declared six national political parties, namely the INC, BJP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP and BSP to be “public authorities” under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, on a complaint filed by ADR and Mr. Agrawal but none of the parties complied with the order. Ultimately on 16th March 2015, the CIC said that the RTI Act does not provide the Commission with ample powers to deal with the cases of contempt and non-compliance.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

ADR's Petition In Supreme Court

19th May 2015

5) Election Expenditure Of Political Parties

On a petition filed by ADR, the Delhi High Court issued notices to the Government of India and the Election Commission to monitor election expenditure of political parties. The next hearing is scheduled for 9th July, 2015.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

ADR Writ Petition In Delhi High Court

20th May 2014

6) Foreign Funding of Political Parties

ADR's petition resulted in a landmark judgement from the Delhi HC which held BJP and Congress guilty of taking foreign funding and violating the provisions of FCRA and directed the Home Ministry and ECI to take action against the two parties within six months. Both INC and BJP have separately appealed against this Delhi HC order in the SC, however, the SC while accepting the appeal refused to grant stay over Delhi HC order.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

A Roadmap Of The Case

28th March 2014

Delhi High Court Judgment

28th March 2014

7) Ashok Shankarao Chavan vs. Madhao Rao Kindhalkar and Others: The Alleged Paid News Case

This case relates to complaints against former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan for publication of news items, advertisements and filing inaccurate election expenditure statements during 2009 Maharashtra Assembly elections. In the matter on May 5, 2014, the Supreme court had passed a judgment holding that ECI has powers to disqualify a candidate in relation to filing of false election expenditure statement under Section 10A. ADR had also intervened in the case.  Afterwards, the Apex court had ordered ECI to conduct an enquiry under Rule 89(4) of Conduct of Election Rules and decide the matter within 45 days. Consequently, ECI had passed an order on July 13, 2014 and also issued a show cause notice to Mr. Chavan. As a result, Ashok Chavan filed an appeal in Delhi High court on July 25, 2014 against the show cause notice. Based on the appeal, Delhi High court had imposed a stay order on ECI's said order on July 28, 2014. That stay order was then challenged in the SC. The SC did not entertain the plea stating that the question of law involved in the current appeal was not dealt by the Supreme Court in the previous matter and it  ordered Delhi High court to dispose off the matter within 15 days. Currently, the matter is now pending before a double bench of Delhi High Court and the next date of hearing is July 14, 2015.

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

A Roadmap Of The Case

5th May 2014

Delhi High Court Judgment (Single Bench)

28th July 2014

Supreme Court Final Judgment

5th May 2014


CIC Orders

 

SC Order On Suppression Of Information About Pending Criminal Cases. 

Judgement/Order

Date of issue

Supreme Court's Order

5th February 2015

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