Supreme Court Issues Notice On Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay's PIL Against Poll Freebies
The Supreme Court today sought responses from the Centre and the Election Commission on a PIL seeking a direction to seize the election symbol or de-register a political party that promises or distributes irrational freebies from public funds before elections.
A Bench comprising of Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli sought the response in four weeks on the PIL filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
The plea said there should be a total ban on such populist measures to gain undue political favour from voters as they violate the Constitution and the ECI should take suitable deterrent measures. (read report)
Petitioner submits that the recent trend of political parties to influence voters by offering freebies with an eye on elections is not only the greatest threat to the survival of democratic values but also injures the spirit of the Constitution, said the plea filed through Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
This unethical practise is just like giving bribes to the electorate at the cost of the exchequer to stay in power and must be avoided to preserve democratic principles and practices, the plea said.
The Petitioner submits in the petition that arbitrary promises of irrational freebies violate the ECI's mandate for free and fair elections and distributing private goods-services, which are not for public purposes, from public funds clearly violate Articles 14, 162, 266(3) and 282 of the Constitution.
With PTI inputs