No Penal Provision To Make Political Parties Liable For Non-Fulfilment Of Promises: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court has observed that there is no penal provision to hold political parties accountable if they fail to fulfil promises made in their election manifestoes.
The Court clarified that a political party as a whole can't be made liable under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 for adopting corrupt practices of the election.
Justice Dinesh Pathak observed on March 2 while hearing a petition filed by Khurshidurehman S Rehman, who had sought the registration of a criminal case, contending that the BJP "failed" to fulfil the promises made in the 2014 General Election.
The Court said, "The election manifesto promulgated by any political party is a statement of their policy, view, promises and vow during the elections, which is not the binding force and the same cannot be implemented through the courts of law."
"Even there is no penal provision under any statute to bring the political parties within the clutches of enforcement authorities in case they fail to fulfil their promises as made in the election manifesto," the Court observed in its judgment.
Earlier, lower courts had rejected the petition, after which the petitioner approached the High Court.
The Court said, "After perusal of the judgment passed by the courts below, it cannot be said that they have decided the matter in a cursory manner without applying their judicial mind. Non-occurrence of any cognizable offence is also one of the paramount conditions which averted the courts below from issuing a direction for investigation in exercise of powers under Sections 156 (3) CrPC."
With PTI inputs