Press Trust of India

Election manifestos comments by pol parties not ‘corrupt practice’: SC

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that commitments made by political parties in their election manifestos will not amount to “corrupt practice” under the election laws.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan made the observation while dismissing a plea by a voter hailing from the Chamrajpet Assembly Constituency challenging the election of a candidate belonging to the Congress.

The plea alleged that commitments by the Congress in its election manifesto for the 2023 Karnataka assembly polls were direct and indirect financial help to the public which amounted to corrupt electoral practice.

“The contention of the learned counsel that the commitments by a political party in its manifesto, which eventually lead to direct or indirect financial help to the public at large, will also amount to corrupt practice by a candidate of that party, is too far-fetched and cannot be accepted.

“In any case, in the facts and circumstances of these cases, we need not to go into such question elaborately. The appeals are, accordingly, dismissed,” the bench said.

The petitioner, Shashanka J Sreedhara, a voter from the Chamrajpet Assembly constituency, had filed an election petition against the winning candidate B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan.

He submitted that the five guarantees made by the Indian National Congress (INC) party in its manifesto amounts to corrupt practice.

The Karnataka High Court had held that a party’s announcement about the policies they plan to put into place cannot be regarded as corrupt behaviour under Section 123 of the Representation of Peoples Act.

“The five guarantees of the Indian National Congress have to be considered as social welfare policies. Whether they are financially viable or not is altogether a different aspect.

“It is for the other parties to show as to how implementation of the said schemes amounts to bankruptcy of the State Treasury and it can only lead to mal governance of the State. It is possible that they can be termed as wrong policies under the given facts and circumstances of the case, but cannot be termed as corrupt practices,” the high court had said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *