Supreme Court says no to plea for barring Political Parties over freebies [3.3.2022]

3.3.2022, Thursday, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a PIL seeking to disqualify Congress and Samajwadi Party candidates in Uttar Pradesh and those of the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab for allegedly luring voters by offering freebies from the exchequer.

“This is a motivated petition. We feel there is a hidden agenda. Why are you targeting particular parties? You should have sought general directions rather than targeting particular parties,” a Bench led by CJI NV Ramana told the petitioner’s advocate Barun Kumar Sinha.

The court had on January 25 issued a notice to the Centre and the Election Commission on a PIL filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay demanding seizure of election symbol and de-registration of political parties, which promise freebies using public funds before elections.

The latest petition by Hindu Sena vice president Surjit Singh Yadav had sought a direction to the Election Commission and the Centre to register FIRs against the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party.

“The corrupt practices adopted by the political party through making an offer/promise to the voters of freebies at the cost of public money would certainly fall within the definition of bribery,” the petition stated.

04 Mar 2022