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Promise of freebies in elections is a serious issue: SC

25/01/2022 at 5:03 PM

New Delhi, Jan 2: Promise of freebies ahead of elections is a serious issue, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Hearing a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in this connection, a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI), NV Ramana issued directions to the Centre and the Election Commission of India to enact a law in this regard.

The Apex Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Centre on the issue of political parties wooing voters with the promise of freebies ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in five states this year. The Supreme Court said the promise of freebies was proved as a serious issue in the previous years.

In his Judgement CJI, Ramana said, ” The freebies budget goes beyond the regular budget. These practices should be legally stopped”

The top court said it had earlier asked the Election Commission to frame guidelines to prevent the same, but the poll body had just held one meeting with political parties asking them their views on the matter.

The apex court while hearing a petition, had sought direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to seize the election symbol or de-register a political party that promises or distributes “irrational freebies” from public funds before elections.

The petition said there should be a total ban on such populist measures to gain undue political favours from the voters as they violate the Constitution and the ECI should take suitable deterrent measures.

The bench issued orders that the matter will be tabled for hearing again after four weeks.

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