The case against freebies granted by the previous DMK government in Tamil Nadu entered its decisive phase Tuesday with the Supreme Court allowing the petitioner’s counsel to argue his case and disallowing the state’s plea for an adjournment plea, a lawyer said.
The case was filed by advocate S. Subramaniam Balaji.
Speaking to IANS, Abhay Kumar, the advocate on record for the petitioner, said: “The court did not agree with the Tamil Nadu government’s plea that the free colour television case has become infructuous as the AIADMK government has scrapped it.”
The free colour TV scheme was implemented by the previous DMK government as a part of its poll promise in 2006.
Kumar said the court also did not agree for an adjournment plea of the state government and asked counsel Arvind P. Datar to begin his arguments.
Datar argued that what was applicable for an individual candidate in the poll fray was equally applicable for a party, Kumar said.
If an individual candidate promised gifts for votes, it was termed as a bribe under the Representation of People Act and the same logic should apply if a party in its manifesto did it, he said.
To a query from the court, Datar said the government could give essentials of life — clothes, rice and others — free to poor but not consumer durables, Kumar said.
Datar argued for around 45 minutes and the court adjourned the case for Nov 27.
Speaking to IANS, Datar said: “I hope by 2013, the Supreme Court would lay down the guidelines with regard to the freebies.”
Balaji had filed a case against DMK government’s free colour television scheme as well as against the successive AIADMK government’s free mixers, grinders and laptops for students and other freebies.