September 16, 2021 8:22:49 am
The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition seeking to declare the offer of cash transfer in election manifestos by political parties a “corrupt electoral practice”.
The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh also questioned the ECI for not implementing its own guidelines against corrupt practices, and observed that powers are not ornaments.
The HC asked the ECI not to to merely send notices, but take action also. “Why are you shying away from taking action,” the bench said.
The court was hearing a petition alleging that the Indian National Congress (INC) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the 2019 elections promised payment of money to people under different schemes in their manifestos.
“The negative impact of these corrupt practices cannot be ignored by any patriotic Indian. If freebies, particularly wanton cash benefits, are allowed to be offered as part of electoral promises, vast majority of the electorate would be swayed away from dignity of labour,” the petition filed by two lawyers said.
The HC listed the case for hearing on September 24 and also sought responses from INC and TDP in the matter.
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