What is the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)?

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Overview:

An Indian delegation is set to leave for London in an effort to seal the free trade agreement with the UK, as dates for the general elections are expected to be announced in less than a month, which will trigger the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

About Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

  • MCC s a set of guidelines intended to regulate political parties and candidates during elections to ensure that the conduct of polls by the Election Commission of India (ECI) is free and fair.
  • This is something political parties and candidates voluntarily agree to.
  • Divided into eight parts, the guidelines cover dos and don’ts for electioneering as well as on publication of advertisements at the cost of the exchequer, among other things.
  • The ECI ensures observance of the MCC by a political party in power and contesting candidates for conducting free and fair elections under Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
  • The salient features of the Model Code of Conduct lay down how political parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power should conduct themselves during the process of elections i.e. on their general conduct during electioneering, holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the party in power etc.
  • MCC also ensures that official machinery for electoral purposes is not misused. Further, it is also ensured that electoral offenses, malpractices, and corrupt practices are prevented by all means. In case of violation, appropriate measures are taken.
  • The code comes into effect from the time the EC announces the schedule of elections and will be in force till the results are announced.
  • Applicability:
    • During general elections to the Lok Sabha, the code is applicable throughout the country.
    • During general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the state, the code is applicable in the entire State.
    • During bye-elections, the MCC would be applicable in the area of the concerned Constituency only.
  • Is MCC Legally Enforceable?
  • The MCC by itself is not legally enforceable but certain provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions in other statutes such as the Representation of the People Act, 1951, IPC and CrPC. 

Q1) What is the Election Commission of India (ECI)?

ECI is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. 

Source: Last ditch effort: Indian delegation heads to London for FTA talks