Retired soldiers file PIL in Karnataka HC, challenge promise of ‘freebies’ by political parties

Four retired military personnel have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court of Karnataka challenging the announcement of “freebies” by political parties in the run up to the elections calling it “cash for votes”.

Four retired military men Brigadier Ravi Muniswamy, Naib Subedar Ramesh Jagathap, Naik Manikanta A and Havaldar Basappa Pattanashetty filed the PIL, which is yet to be listed for hearing.

“By giving freebies during the election and after the election, the political parties have been creating trends to get power and even declaring the freebies prior to the election promising to provide freebies/gratifications/gifts after the election when they hold the power of the government. (This) is nothing but cash for votes under provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act. Thereby declaration to provide freebies by the political parties is against the provisions of law as well as the Constitution of India,” the PIL said.

The PIL said that the Indian National Congress party in Karnataka captured power in the state by promising freebies like Gruha Lakshmi, Gruha Jyothi and Shakti Yojane.

“Because of the said freebies, it is not possible to expect free and fair election of candidates and it leads to severely bad/strained economy of the country and everyone has to face several kinds of problems,” the petitioner said.

Apart from the Election Commission of India, union and state governments, and political parties BJP, Congress and JD(S) have been named as respondents in the petition.

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