Netas doling out rash promises, watch out. A voter from Mumbai has knocked the doors of the Supreme Court to make it binding on political parties to fulfil promises made in their manifestos.
Petitioner Tarun Rathi, a resident of Matunga West, wants to make it compulsory for parties to file “undertakings or affidavits ” before the EC that they would be bound by their poll promises.
Maintaining that it was nearly impossible for a voter to verify the claims made by parties during elections, the petitioner said: “It is desirable that the claims must be substantiated or certified by an independent government agency like Comptroller and Auditor General or any other such agency.”
The absence of accountability regarding manifestos containing poll promises amounted to cheating the electorate, Rathi added.
“Is it desirable in a democracy that political sovereigns (parties) be allowed…to cheat (not in the legal sense) the people of India, particularly the illiterate masses…?”
Rathi’s PIL was mentioned on Tuesday before a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, which fixed May 8 to hear it.
He said notwithstanding the ordinary man’s disillusionment with the present political system, parties’ manifestos during “festival of democracy inspires a fresh hope and renewed faith” in the masses who exercise their franchise in the light of poll promises.