October 9, Forty Years Ago: Debating Poll Laws

A look at the front page of The Indian Express, published on October 9, Forty Years Ago.

By: Express News Service | Published: October 9, 2015 12:53 am

Shanti Bhushan said the law required that purity in public life and elections should be maintained. As such, any corrupt practice committed by any person with the consent of the candidate was bad. A.K. Sen, counsel for Indira Gandhi, had argued that Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act must be interpreted in the light of the Election Laws Amendment Act of 1975 to make the activities of the candidates alone count as a corrupt practice, not the activities of third parties like political parties. To this, Bhushan’s reply was that the law required that purity in public life and in elections. If only the activities of the candidate after filing the nomination were taken into consideration and not his activities earlier, the very purpose of the law would be defeated. He contended that the retrospective change of law violated the principle of fair and free elections.

Black Money Plan
Tax evaders were given a chance to disclose their unaccounted income and wealth without incurring any penalty. The government issued an ordinance offering an opportunity to individuals and companies who had evaded payment of tax. They would now be allowed to declare their undisclosed income and wealth, pay a reasonable amount of tax and “return to the path of civic responsibility in future”. No penalty or interest would be levied for default in furnishing returns of concealed income and wealth.

Spain Violence
Terrorists attacked a police headquarters in Barcelona, starting a gun battle in which police shot two of their own officers and three bystanders. The attack brought to eight the number of policemen killed in seven days of political violence in Spain, triggered by the execution of five guerillas. Another report said the military attache to the Spanish embassy in Paris was shot and critically wounded at his home by an unidentified assailant.

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