SC dismisses plea seeking punishment of 2yrs for electoral offenses
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea that sought a minimum punishment of two years for electoral offenses, including bribery, false statement undue influence by candidates, and political parties. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to entertain the PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay "Heard and dismissed," said the bench also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
Change in law has become necessary: Upadhyay
In his plea, Upadhyay had alleged that since 2000, apart from general and state assembly elections, bribes were also given to garner support for particular political parties and candidates in by-polls. "The change in law has become necessary as there have been increasing incidents of bribery being detected in all elections, from local body polls to Lok Sabha elections," he said.
ECI had recommended to make bribery during elections an offense
Upadhyay, in his plea, had also said in 2012, the Election Commission of India had recommended to the Home Ministry to amend the existing law to make bribery during elections (both in cash and in kind) a cognizable offense. This will enable police to arrest violators without a warrant and to enhance the punishment to up to two years.
Govt hasn't done anything to amend concerned IPC sections: Upadhyay
Upadhyay said the Home Ministry has conveyed to the poll panel that it has initiated the process to amend sections 171B and 171E of the Indian Penal Code for the same. However, the government hasn't done anything in this regard till date, the petitioner claimed.