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Poll freebies: Supreme Court flays Election Commission for affidavit leaked to media

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The Supreme Court on Thursday reprimanded the Election Commission for the affidavit, which it filed before the Apex Court, being leaked to the media.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said, “Before we get the affidavit, it becomes a part of news. We have read your affidavit in the newspaper.”

The Supreme Court asked petitioner and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay whether all political parties give their manifesto to the Election Commission before the elections?

Petitioner’s lawyer Vikas Singh said that there was no such rule for this.

On behalf of the Central government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that most of the free promises were not mentioned in the manifesto, they were said during the election campaigns.

Earlier, lashing out at the political parties, who distribute freebies right before the polls, the Apex Court said the announcement and distribution of freebies by political parties was a serious issue, which needs to be stopped.

Calling for a balance between the welfare schemes for people and freebies, the top court of the country stressed that the entire amount should be spent on developing the infrastructure.

The CJI further noted that India is a country, where there is poverty. The government has schemes to feed the hungry. People say the taxpayers money should be spent on developmental purpose. Both sides need to heard before reaching a conclusion, he added.

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