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Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said there are 'strong arguments on both sides' with regard to the suggestion for disqualification of candidates against whom charges have been framed in cases having minimum punishment of five years
New Delhi: The Verma panel's recommendation for disqualification of candidates against whom criminal charges have been framed has found little favour with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar who instead wants fast-tracking of such cases, preferably to be decided by a lower court within 18 months, reports PTI.
The Law Minister said he has had preliminary discussion with Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath on the issue of electoral reforms and the Law Commission has been asked to submit "concrete suggestions" on the issue by April.
Kumar said the government would "vigorously take forward" the discussion with political parties to forge a broad political consensus and then bring in the requisite legislation where necessary.
Talking about the recommendation of Justice JS Verma Committee, he said there are "strong arguments on both sides" with regard to the suggestion for disqualification of candidates against whom charges have been framed in cases having minimum punishment of five years.
"Personally speaking, I believe we will have to address the dichotomy between the number of cases in which charges have been registered and the number of cases in which actual conviction has been possible," he told PTI in an interview.
He was asked whether a person should be debarred from contesting elections if charges are framed as recommended by the Verma Committee or the present law should apply under which a candidate can be prohibited from contesting only if convicted with minimum two years imprisonment.
Wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia's largest onion market, have increased by more than five-fold to Rs20.50 per kg today from Rs3.55 per kg in the year-ago period
Wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik,
“Prices have hardened as onion area in
Stating that onion is grown in areas dependent on rains, the minister said that onion area in drought-hit states like Maharashtra has been affected but overall production would be sufficient to meet the domestic demand.
“I had visited the key onion areas yesterday, the crop from other parts of the states is good and availability will improve in the coming weeks,” he said.
According to Nasik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), area under onion crop is down by 10% from 10.87 lakh hectare this year.
NHRDF director RP Gupta said: “Prices of onion are rising in anticipation of a drop in output. But we expect overall production to be same at last year's level of 174 lakh tonnes. Productivity is expected to be higher and there will not be shortage of supply.”
As per the official data, retail prices of onion have increased to Rs28 per kg now from Rs13 a kg in the year-ago period in most parts of the country.
Maharashtra, Karnataka and
Last year, onion production in