The Supreme Court on 25th January 2022 Tuesday issued notices to the centre and the election commission seeking their response to a PIL seeking a direction to seize the election symbol or de-register a political party that promises or distributes “Irrational freebies” from public funds before election. A bench comprising chief justice of India N.V.RAMANA and justices A.S.BOPANNA and HIMA KOHLI observed, “It is a serious issue and freebies budget goes beyond regular , even though it is not corrupt practice but it creates a uneven playing field”,
Justice KHOLI remarked, “You (petitioner) have been selective in your approach (in naming parties) the CJI noted”, you have named only two in affidavit”.
The PIL filed by BJP leader and lawyer ASHWINI UPADHYAY cities the AAM AADMI party’s promise of Rs 1,000 per month to every women aged 18, ahead of the Punjab polls. It also states examples like SHIROMANI AKALI DAL (SAD) promised Rs 2000 per month and eight gas cylinders per year to every housewife but also promised, Rs 20,000 after passing 12th class, Rs 15,000 after passing 10th class, Rs 10,000 after passing 8th class and Rs 5,000 after passing 5th class”.
Lastly, it mentions, “For UP assembly elections, congress promised a Smartphone to every girl studying in class 12, a scooty to every girl pursuing graduation, free public transportation for women, eight free gas cylinders per year to every housewife, free medical treatment up to RS 10 lakh per family”.
Last week, Supreme Court had said it would consider listing for hearing a plea also filed by Upadhyay- – seeking a direction to the EC to ensure that political parties publish details regarding criminal cases of candidates along with the reason for their websites.