SC wants political parties to suggest how to regulate ‘freebie culture’-HDmoviesfreedownload

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Centre should take the opinion of NITI Aayog, Finance Commission, Reserve Bank of India, Law Commission of India, and Election Commission of India (ECI) to come up with suggestions to address the issue of irrational freebies. This was in response to a petition against freebie culture in the country.

The plea sought directions to the ECI to not permit political parties to promise or distribute irrational freebies from the public fund before the elections and deregister political parties which do so.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, said the debt of Rs 60,000 crore to the exchequer needs to be considered.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, said he supported the petitioner’s views. “Populist schemes distort the decision-making of the voters. This is the way we are heading towards an economic disaster,” he said.

He suggested that the ECI should apply its mind to look into the issue. The court refused to entertain this suggestion saying that the ECI cannot be forced to look into the issue if it does not want to.

The counsel for ECI said they had already filed their reply, saying that such regulations on freebies can be included in the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Referring to a judgment 19 years ago, the court said the ECI had not done anything. “There are benefits to the downtrodden people, and it is not that the rich are deprived of such benefits.” the court said.

The court observed that regulating freebies via the MCC may not be feasible. “MCC comes into play just before the elections. The four years before the MCC comes into play is unaccounted for,” the court said.

Disagreeing with the Centre, Senior Advocate and politician Kapil Sibal said that the ECI should be kept out of this matter as it is an economic and political issue. “Let there be a debate in the parliament?” Sibal suggested.

The court expressed its apprehension about the debate saying that everyone wants freebies these days. The court suggested that all stakeholders come together and submit suggestions. “These are all policy matters. Let the Finance Commission, political parties, opposition parties, and other stakeholders interact, come up with suggestions and submit their report,” the court said.

Directing all parties to make suggestions about the formation of a body that can be constituted by the Court to examine the issue, the court scheduled the next hearing for August 8.

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