- At the recently cancelled RK Nagar by-poll about 2 lakh voters from the total of 2.4 lakh voters took a bribe of ₹4,000 each.
- Section 171 (b) of the Indian Penal Code that states that bribe takers, as well as the bribe givers, are equally guilty of committing the offence.
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Madras high court against Election Commission of India seeking an answer for its failure to legal action against the voters who take a bribe. The petitioner has pointed out the failure of EC to lodge complaints against those voters who take a bribe from political parties and politicians.
Senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram cited Section 171 (b) of the Indian Penal Code that states that bribe takers as well as the bribe givers are equally guilty of committing the offence and argued that at the recently cancelled RK Nagar by-poll about 2 lakh voters from the total of 2.4 lakh voters took a bribe of ₹4,000 each, reported The Times of India.
Further, the advocate referred the EC reports and complaints that have been lodged in the RK Nagar by-poll and pointed out that these complaints and reports mention the bribe givers but ignore the bribe takers who are equally at fault. In fact, the Election Commission, the field teams as well as flying squads of the commission were aware of the identity of the bribe-taking voters, yet no complaints were lodged.
The advocate mentioned this shows the Election Commission’s ignorance of the law and also that the constitutional body must book minimum 10,000 voters for taking a bribe. In its defence, the counsel of Election Commission, Niranjan Rajagopal, responded that there are practical difficulties to book bribe taking voters, like either identifying them or lodging complaints against 2 lakh voters.
This PIL has been filed by an activist, N R R Arun Natarajan, and the high court bench has sought an answer to what prevented him from approaching the police with a complaint against the bribe taking voters.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:57 PM IST