SC to consider hearing PIL against promises of freebies by parties

Mumbai – The Supreme Court on 2nd March agreed to consider listing for an urgent hearing a plea seeking direction to register FIRs against political parties for allegedly inducing voters by offering freebies.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of Adv. Barun Kumar Sinha that the plea filed by Hindu Sena Vice President Surjit Singh Yadav on the issue needed hearing in view of the fact that Assembly polls in 5 States are getting over. “We will list it”, said the Bench which also comprised Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli. Yadav, in the PIL, has said he was aggrieved by the offer and promises made by the Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP and Aam Aadmi Party in the Assembly election being held in 5 States.

“Such an offer or promise by a political party, its leader, candidates set up in the elections, may be declared to be indulging in corrupt practices and bribery in terms of provisions of Section 123 (1)(b) of the Representations of People Act, 1951 and the candidates set up by such political parties may be declared disqualified from contesting the election in that State”, he said.

The petition requested that the Election Commission be directed to evolve a mechanism for candidates to declare while filing their nomination that their parties have not made any offer and promise of freebies at the cost of public money. “If such declarations are found wrong, such candidates must be declared disqualified from contesting the election and if elected, such election may be declared void”, the plea said

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