Allahabad HC Junks Plea Against BJP Alleging False Promises: Election Manifesto Can’t Be Implemented by Courts


Anurupa Pal

Published On: March 19, 2022 at 15:30 IST

The Allahabad High Court recently Reiterated that there is No Law that Penalises the Non-Fulfilment of Poll Promises made by Political Parties in their Election Manifesto.

While Dismissing a Plea seeking Action against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Allegedly failing to live up to Promises made in 2014 Election Manifesto Justice Dinesh Pathak held.

“It is, thus, clear that the Election Manifesto promulgated by any Political Party is a Statement of their Policy, View, Promises and Vow during the Election, which is not the binding force and the same cannot be implemented through the Courts of Law. Even there is no Penal Provision under any Statute to bring the Political Parties within the clutches of Enforcement Authorities, in Case they fail to fulfil their promises as made in the Election Manifesto.”

The Petitioner had invoked the Supervisory Jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution Challenging the Orders Passed by the Trial and Revisional Courts Rejecting an Application filed Under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Petitioner had sought Registration of Cognisable Offences including Cheating, Fraud, Criminal Breach of Trust, Fraud and False Allurement against the Bharatiya Janata Party.

It was Alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party had wooed Voters with Several Promises but Failed to Fulfil the same after the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

While noting that Voters are allured to cast votes in Favour of the Party by Magical Promises, the Judge Observed that no Specific Penal Provision was pointed out, nor was it specified how a Cognisable Offence was made out.

It went to discuss the Supreme Court Judgement in S Subramaniam Balaji Vs. The Government of Tamil Nadu and others wherein it was held that Promises made in the Manifesto cannot be treated to be a Corrupt Practice as is denoted Under Section 123 of The Representation of the People Act, 1951.

No Penal Provision has been provided considering the Non-Fulfilment of the Promises as made in the Election Manifesto as a Crime the Apex Court had held.

The High Court clarified that the Courts below had not decided the matter in a Cursory Manner without applying their Judicial Mind.

Non-occurrence of any Cognizable Offence is also one of the Paramount conditions which averted the Courts below from issuing a direction for Investigation in Exercise of Powers under Sections 156 (3) Criminal Procedure Court do not find any substance in the present Writ Petition.

The Plea was thus Disposed of after observing that there is No Prima Facie Disclosure of a Cognisable Offence having been Committed.

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