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Judiciary

SC Adjourns Plea Seeking To Declare Congress 2019 Manifesto As Unfair & Violative Of The Model Code Of Conduct

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      17 February, 2020 07:02 AM      0 Comments
SC Adjourns Plea Seeking To Declare Congress 2019 Manifesto As Unfair & Violative Of The Model Code Of Conduct

On February 14, 2020, the Apex Court adjourned a plea seeking to declare the Congress Manifesto of 2019 Lok Sabha  elections as "unfair and against Model code of conduct", as the party had "promised freebies" to voters, which is an "attempt to bribe" according to the plea.

The bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde deferred the hearing for 2 weeks as one of the co- petitioners was not permitted by the Registry to argue in person.

Adarsh Kumar Agrawal and Dr Seema Jain filed the plea asking for directions to declare the Manifesto unfair and against model code of conduct.

Model code of conduct

The Election Commission of India to make elections free and fair issues certain guidelines for the political parties, these guidelines are actually the do's and Don’ts for the candidates during and before elections.

  1. No party should seek votes in the name of religion and caste, moreover places like mosques, churches and temples should not be used for campaigning.
  2. No political party or candidate shall be involved in any such activity so that there is an atmosphere of hatred and tension among the people of different castes and religions.
  3. Parties and candidates should refrain from commenting on personal life of candidates. However the past policies are open for evaluation.
  4. Threatening voters, giving bribe, campaigning in the periphery of 100 meters from polling booths, organizing a public meeting within 48 hours of polling, and arranging transport “to and from” the polling booths is also prohibited.

No political parties or candidates shall permit his followers to use the land, building, compound, wall, or vehicle without the permission of the property owner for pasting pamphlets, banners, displaying party flags, writing slogans etc.

  1. Political parties should make sure that their supporters do not obstruct the rally of the opposition.
  2. Prior permission of police authorities should be taken before organiizig meetings or rallies  so that local traffic is not in chaos.
  3. If a Political party or a candidate is about to organize a procession, then ‘it or he’ has to inform; (about its time, the path of procession, place of starting of the procession and the place where the procession will end) to the concerned authorities.
  4. No alcohol should be served to voters on the day or 24 hours before polling.
  5. The ruling party's ministers shall not use government machinery like government employees, vehicles, government buildings during elections campaigning.
  6. The ruling party shall not have a monopoly over public places, helipads, and aircraft, the candidates of other parties will also be able to use them with the same conditions as the ruling party is following.
  7. The ministers are prohibited to announce any grants from discretionary funds from the date of announcement of election.

 

The above directions by Election Commission aims to ensure free and fair elections in the country, however the execution of the same is not as planned. Hence we need election reforms to make the guidelines more efficient and enforceable in the country.

 

Author: Aarya Mishra 



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