SC rejects plea for minimum punishment, of two years for electoral offences

NEW DELHI:  A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to entertain plea that sought a minimum punishment of two years for electoral offences by candidates and political parties. The bench refused to entertain a PIL filed by advocate that sought to make electoral offences cognisable.

Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay that sought to make electoral offences cognisable. Heard and dismissed,” said the bench also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

Mr. Upadhyay’s petition had reiterated the proposal made by the Election Commission of India in February 1992, when it had demanded that election offences should be made cognizable with minimum two years of imprisonment.

He said the Home Ministry has conveyed to the poll panel that it has initiated the process to amend sections 171B and 171E of the Indian Penal Code for the same.

Mr. Upadhyay had therefore demanded a direction to the Centre to make electoral offences such as bribery, undue influence, personation, false statement, illegal payments and non-filing of election accounts, cognizable offences with minimum two years.

However, the government has not done anything in this regard till date, the petitioner claimed.

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