The State Election Commission has the following powers in respect of Enquiry and examination on the issue of disqualification of a candidate or an elected member, as provided under Section 139 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994:
(1) where the State Election Commission in deciding any question under sub section
(2) of Section 34 or Section 36 of this Act considers it necessary or proper to make an enquiry, and the Commission is satisfied that on the basis of the affidavits filed and the documents producedÂ in such enquiry by the parties concerned of their own accord, it cannot come to a decision in the matter which is being inquired into, the Commission shall have, for the purposes of such inquiry, the powers of a civil court, while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908) in respect of the following matters, namely:-
- summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
- requiring the discovery and production of any document or other material objectÂ producible as evidence;
- receiving the evidence of affidavits;
- requisitioning any public record or a copy there of from any court or office;
- issuing commissions for the examination of witness or documents.
(3) The Commission shall also have theÂ power to require any personÂ includingÂ Government Officials subject to any privilege which may be claimed that person underÂ lawbj for the time being in force, to furnish information on such points or matters as in the opinion of the Commission may be useful for, or relevant to, the subject matterÂ ofÂ enquiry.
(4) The Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court and when any such offence, as is described in Section 175, Section 178, Section 179, Section 180 or Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code (Central Act 45of 1860), is committed in the view or presence of the Commission, the Commission may, after recording the facts constituting the offence and the statement of the accused as provided for in the code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(Central Act 2 of 1974), forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case had been forwarded to him under Section 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
(5) Any proceeding before the Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Section 193 and Section228 of the Indian penal Code, 1860(Central Act 45 of 1860).
(6) Similar provisions are made in the Kerala Municipality Act 1994 also under Section 196.