New Delhi: Supreme Court Chief Justice N.V. Ramana has opined that freebies and welfare programs should not be confused, and since a detailed investigation is needed in this regard, he has transferred the case to a 3-judge bench to ban election-time free promises.
BJP lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court, claiming that the economy of the nation and the state is going to rock bottom due to election-time free promises, and therefore seeking a ban on such election-time free promises announced to attract voters.
The trial of this case was going on for the last 3 days in the session headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana. However, as NV Ramana retired yesterday, this case was telecasted live.
Chief Justice NV Ramana, who heard the arguments of senior lawyers from all sides in the case, said in the order issued yesterday:
To attract voters
Election time free ads and attractive promises are only announcements made to attract voters at that time. Such free announcements risk even bankrupting a state government. Such freebies are used to popularize the party.
But, not all announcements can be considered free. Don’t confuse freebies with welfare schemes. In a democracy, the people have the real power to decide who to vote for.
Can an expert committee be set up to look into such issues? To what extent can the intervention of the Department of Justice in this matter related to free? To what extent does the appointment of an expert panel by the court help in this matter? A detailed investigation is needed on whether the Subramania Balaji judgment of 2013 should be reconsidered.
Who presides over the session?
Therefore, in view of the seriousness of this case, I order it to be transferred to a 3-Judge Bench. Meanwhile, the 3-judge bench will decide who will be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But the judgment passed in the Subramania Balaji case last year, 2013, should be reconsidered considering the seriousness of the case, he postponed the trial for 4 weeks.
Broadcast online for the first time:
Supreme Court Chief Justice NV Ramana retired yesterday. As a result, yesterday he sat as the Chief Justice along with his fellow judges and heard the cases. At that time, Chief Justice NV Ramana ordered that all the listed cases, including promises of free elections, be heard live for the first time for the public to watch online.
It is to be noted that this is the first time in the history of the Supreme Court that the hearing of the Chief Justice’s bench has been telecasted live