I have herewith attached the complaint sent to the election commission against the free colour tv promsie by the congress party. This kind of bribing the people at elections would ruin our country.
so please forward it to one and all.
S. Subramaniam Balaji S-42, TNHB Golden Enclave Advocate 180, Luz Churh Road, Mylapore
through E-mail and Speed post Ack. Due
The Election Commission of India
C.C. to Election Commissioner, Karnataka
Sub: Complaint - Against the promise of Colour Television sets to the Electorate of Karnataka by the Indian National Congress Party – Bribery amounting to Corrupt Practice under sec 123 (1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 read with section 171-B(2) of the Indian Penal Code –– seeking Disqualification ab initio even at the time of filing their nominations as it is a violation of the oath under Schedule III (VII A) as enumerated under Article 173 (a) of the Constitution of India on two counts, namely (1) as a private gift is not a public purpose and therefore Ultra vires the Article 282 of the Constitution of India and (2) an express bribe under section 123 of the R.P. Act cannot become a Sovereign function of the State even under the garb of Legislative sanction- request immediate penal action – Regarding.
Ref: my earlier complaint dated 24-4-2006 and sent to you through Email and also registered post on the same subject of free colour television (bribe) promise at the Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2006.
My earlier complaint dated 10-12-2007 on the same subject of free colour television (bribe) promise at the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2008.
Your reply dated 1st February 2008 in No. 4/RTI/01/2008/JS II/ 1535.
1. I am a practicing Advocate at Chennai and am lodging this complaint as a sequel to my above referred complaints dated 24-4-2006 and 10-12-2007, which may be read as part and parcel of this complaint.
2. It is a known fact that the Indian National Congress party contesting the Assembly Elections in the State of Karnataka has sought to bribe the poorest section of the electorate with a "Gift" of a Colour Television set for every household with a green ration card,(the targeted poorer sections of the society, whose number I do not know), if voted to Power.
Please refer the below mentioned article in Web India dot com. http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20080409/928210.html
3. I state that this promise is a "Bribery" amounting to corrupt practice under section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 read with Section 171-B (2) of the IPC, against which your esteemed Commission ought to take action immediately.
4. The issue of providing a free colour television, an accessory of entertainment as a free gift to the poor masses is an illegal gratification estimable in money to induce them to vote for the offeror and therefore falls squarely within the definition referred above. Even presuming that the section 123 does not exist in the Representation of the Peoples Act, is it not a bribery under the common law to woo the electorate with a blatant free gift of considerable worth as a quid pro quo for votes?
5. Entertainment sector is in the private realm of the masses and no Government whether it is the Union or the State is duty bound to provide entertainment to masses and as such a promise by an association of individual citizens collectively known as a political party does not have the right to offer such an unconstitutionality as a poll promise. Entertainment was, is and never could be a Sovereign function of a Nation/State. Therefore an offer to give an entertainment device at the cost of the exchequer is also a mischief punishable under the provisions of the IPC against a public property, namely the exchequer, which is a property of the State.
6. An Unconstitutional promise at an election by anybody on behalf of the candidates, in this case by the Party, therefore would entail the disqualification of all the contesting candidates of the Party, ab initio even at the time of filing their nominations as it is a violation of the oath under Schedule III (VII A) as enumerated under Article 173 (a) of the Constitution of India apart from attracting the punishment for bribery at elections under the IPC and also their disqualification from contesting any elections for a period of six years under section 8A of the R.P. Act 1951.
7. It would not be surprising in the future elections in all States if the rival candidates promise through their Manifesto household items like Refrigerator, Mixie, Fan, Air cooler, Iron Box, Mobile phones, two wheelers and after all this is satisfied even cars and after that even helicopters with illogical and imaginary purposes so as to hoodwink the Constitutional provisions. Of course for your Commission it would be an even contest, if rival parties promise such Unconstitutional freebies! With this trend the incumbent Government's would start giving free gifts from the 3rd year of their term since they would fully know that the opposition would promise a free gift at the end of the 5 year term and there would be no end to such a trend from now. The trend started by DMK and its allies the UPA in Tamil Nadu and your Commission's keep off attitude to allow the same to go scot free in spite of my complaint, has allowed this menace to spread. ( kindly refer my complaint dated 24-4-2006).
8. The duty of a Government is to only carry out primarily Governmental functions like Law and Order, Military, taking care of the essential services including food, clothing, shelter, electricity, infrastructure, communications etc and not provide its accessories to the public as a free gift! It would therefore precede that at an election for the formation of a Government such Unconstitutional promises ought not to be made, be it by a Political party or an independent. If all political parties are allowed to take umbrage under their manifesto, then any and every unconstitutionality would be promised and your commission shall not question that in the future also. Economic Unconstitutionality / election bribe has not been viewed seriously by your commission till date.
9. The following substantial questions arise for your kind consideration and action : -
a. Whether the promise of an unconstitutionality at an election by a candidate does not disqualify him ab initio even at the time of filing their nominations as it is a violation of the oath under Schedule III (VII A) as enumerated under Article 173 (a) of the Constitution of India to which he swore at the time of filing his nomination, and as such his election to the State Legislature ought to be declared void?
b. Can a political party for the benefit of their alliance and the victory of its candidates promise such household items/ appliances / luxury goods to the general masses, but couched on irrational / colourable premises such as entertainment and general knowledge / saving of labour / improving the standard of life of women / comman man / the Below Povery Line?
c. Would it create equilibrium if the other parties too announce freebies of such accessories like fans, mixie, two wheelers, mobile phones, computers, gas stoves, electric room heaters, coolers, helmet, chairs, cots, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, light bulbs and fittings, etc on such other similar irrational premises ?
d. Will not making an Unconstitutional poll promise of a lifestyle accessory / gift to the general masses, which itself is unconstitutional (as it serves no public purpose and whose objectives are irrational and imaginary and does not satisfy the requirement under Article 282 of our Constitution as it is not a sovereign duty to provide household goods) disqualify the candidates (as stated in question (a) above) who makes it collectively as an association of individuals and their elections liable to be set aside?
e. If an electoral bribe under section 123 of the Representation of the People's Act by a political alliance brought in through a political party's manifesto not amount to a corrupt practice, will the same by an independent candidate amount to and would be seen as a bribe? If not then can Independent candidates also promise such free gifts to be given in future? And in case an Independent who had promised a gift of Mobile Phones, becomes an important member of the Legislative Assembly then will mobile phones be distributed from out of the funds of the exchequer by the Government so as to fulfill his electoral promise?
f. If the promise of a "gift" which squarely falls under the definition of Bribe in common law be considered active bribe then the expectation by the intended receiver group to receive ought to be considered as passive bribe and consequentially would it not therefore in spite of it being present or future gift would still fall under the definition of a bribe under the Representation of the People's Act and therefore a subsequent Unconstitutionality if sought to be acted upon by the giver group? ( refer Adityan's case)
g. Is not an Unconstitutional promise void ab initio under the Contract Act and therefore a promise of a void contract to induce / offer to gain pecuniary gain at an election not a bribe?
h. Is not a Government a "Trustee" of the consolidated funds of India, be it the Union or a State and therefore What right has a political Party, i.e., an association of individual citizens under section 29A of the R.P. Act / candidate, at an election to form a Government, got to promise to "Gift" it to private individuals under whatever pretext they deem it to be?
10. I therefore state that the Indian National Congress party has cleverly framed a corrupt practice that entails a future gift to induce the large segment of the lower income group people to vote for them, which is (1) a corrupt electoral practice amount to bribery (2) a criminal offence of bribery under the I.P.C and (3) blatantly Unconstitutional as it is violative of Article 282 of the Constitution of India, since the said gift is a private gift devoid of any "Public Purpose". The consequence of such an offence is disqualification as it is a violation of the oath under Schedule III (VII A) as enumerated under Article 173 (a) of the Constitution of India of all contesting candidates of the Congress party in the Assembly Elections at Karnataka, whether they emerge victorious or not. They also have to reimburse the election expenses incurred by your Commission.
11. Your Commission has been created by the "Sovereign", the Constitution of India and your Commission ought to only protect it, against such blatantly corrupt politicians, and initiate severe action immediately. Our country could ill afford such Unconstitutional, illegal, illogical, crude and perverse joke on the people without the knowledge that it is a sure economic disaster, who are being hoodwinked by such blatant corruption sugar coated in polity, maneuvered craftily by wicked politicians out to grab power.
12. I therefore request you as the Constitutional body in charge of the General Elections in the State of Karnataka, to step in sharply and clearly by initiating immediate action against the Indian National Congress party for its free gift of television sets and disqualify all its contesting candidates and also initiate appropriate Criminal proceedings accordingly. It is a known fact that post election disqualification would give rise to unpleasant law and order complications, for which, your commission alone would and should be held responsible.
S. Subramaniam Balaji
S. Subramaniam Balaji