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PIL in HC against pre-poll freebies, promises in election manifestos

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking it declare that pre-poll promises and freebies offered in election manifestos are a corrupt practice as such actions could sway the electorate.
The petition came up for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar on Wednesday. It has been listed for May 6.
The plea by two lawyers has contended that freebies, particularly cash benefits, if allowed to be offered, could sway a vast majority of the electorate.
The petition has alleged that such promises are called 'note for vote' and amount to a "corrupt practice" and a violation of provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act.
It has further claimed that prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Indian National Congress had promised Rs 72,000 per annum to five crore poor families under its proposed Nyuntam Aay Yojana and the Telengu Desam Party had offered Rs 2 lakh per annum to the poor in Andhra Pradesh.
It said that both instances were brought to the notice of the Election Commission but it took no action.
The petitioners have contended that "election promises of freebies without any connection with labour, work or productivity is ultra vires the Constitution".

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First Published: Jan 29 2020 | 7:25 PM IST

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