Saturday, July 6, 2013
How can we justify Contraband Offers of Freebies like Color TVs, Houses, Jobs, Laptops, Temple etc. for Victory in election ???
Yesterday in the matters of CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5130 OF 2013, instituted by S. Subramaniam Balaji, the appellant against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)led Government of Tamil Nadu and others, the Division Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has ruled with cautions and directed that " Although, the law is obvious that the promises in the election manifesto cannot be construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of RP Act, the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of freebies of any kind,undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree.As this Court has limited power to issue directions to the legislature to legislate on a particular issue. However, the Election Commission, in order to ensure level playing field between the contesting parties and candidates in elections and also in order to see that the purity of the election process does not get vitiated, as in past been issuing instructions under the Model Code of Conduct.Therefore, considering that there is no enactment that directly governs the contents of the election manifesto, we hereby direct the Election Commission to frame guidelines for the same in consultation with all the recognized political parties as when it had acted while framing guidelines for general conduct of the candidates, meetings, processions, polling day, party in power etc.In the similar way, a separate head for guidelines for election manifesto released by a political party can also be included in the Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties & Candidates. We are mindful of the fact that generally political parties release their election manifesto before the announcement of election date, in that scenario, strictly speaking, the Election Commission will not have the authority to regulate any act which is done before the announcement of the date. Nevertheless,an exception can be made in this regard as the purpose of election manifesto is directly associated with the election process. We hereby direct the Election Commission to take up this task as early as possible owing to its utmost importance. We also record the need for a separate legislation to be passed by the legislature in this regard for governing the political parties in our democratic society" The aforesaid landmark observations are made by the Apex Court, while adjudicating the aforesaid civil appeal in respect of the impugned election manifesto with offers of freebies of color TVs to the people by victorious Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)parties which has now formed on success Government in Tamil Nadu. Obviously as observed above regarding to the trends of tactful distribution of freebies by our political parties, GPCC had also organized such a debatable distribution of forms for houses ‘Ghar nu Ghar’ scheme before assembly election in Gujarat and in reply to this BJP came with its election manifesto promising for 50 lakh homes and 30 lakh jobs in Dec 2012 last year. Similarly in UP promises for free laptops have been offered to win the voters, and now before 2014 parliament election comes, the BJP election campaign allies Mr. Amit Shah & others, recently today visited Ayodhya and vowed to build Ram Temple on the disputed site and to give congress free rule in the country, in disregards to the fact that the issue of Ram Temple on the disputed site is though pending and still subjudice for final adjudication before the Apex Court...In fine the offering of freebies are increasing like anything disregarding present rules and laws for free and fair elections. In such the circumstances, and looking to the aforesaid latest landmark observations by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, it is now a crucial question "How we, the law abiding voters, can justify all such Contraband Offers of Freebies like Color TVs, Houses, Jobs, Laptops, Temple etc. by political persons for their Victory in elections ???"
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