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Karnataka HC issues notice to election commission over luring voters with freebies during elections

The Karnataka High Court has responded to a petition highlighting the unethical practice of luring voters with guaranteed fortunes during elections, issuing a notice to the Election Commission to take action and prevent such irregularities from reoccurring. The plea, filed by JDS youth leader Nikhil Kumaraswamy and others, sought direction from the court for both the governments and the Election Commission to curb corrupt activities witnessed during the assembly elections held last year.

Karnataka HC issues notice to election commission over luring voters with freebies during elections
First Published Feb 3, 2024, 3:32 PM IST

The petitioners raised concerns about political parties resorting to tactics such as offering freebies and guarantee cards to lure voters, thereby compromising the integrity of the electoral process. Presided over by acting chief justice PS Dinesh Kumar and justice TG Shivashankar Gowda, a Division Bench of the High Court conducted an inquiry into the matter.
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After hearing arguments from the petitioners' counsel, the bench issued notices to the respondents, including the Central Law Department, the Central Election Commission, the State Election Commission, and the Election Commission, directing them to file objections. The bench adjourned the hearing pending the responses of the respondents. 

Advocates representing the petitioners alleged that voters were enticed using modern technology and guarantee's , in violation of electoral rules, during the previous assembly elections. They expressed concerns that such practices jeopardise the fairness and impartiality of elections, with similar patterns emerging across various states.

Consequently, they urged the court to instruct the Election Commission to take the necessary action to prevent the repetition of such unethical practices observed in Karnataka.

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