At, High Court of Kerala
By, THE HONOURABLE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. HRISHIKESH ROY & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.K. JAYASANKARAN NAMBIAR
For the Appearing Parties: Liju V Stephen, N. Nagaresh, Advocates.
Hrishikesh Roy, ACJ.
1. This writ petition is filed to challenge certain amendments in the Companies Act, 2013, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, which enable the political parties in India to rece
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ive contribution from companies. According to the petitioner, such contribution will effect the conduct of free and fair elections and the process of election will be corrupted and polluted. It is the further contention of Sri.Liju V.Stephen, the learned counsel for the petitioner that when such contribution received by the political parties, the donor corporates will be able to influence on how votes are cast in the election process. Therefore, it will indirectly enable the companies force the party in power to disregard welfare measures for the people and adopt such anti-people policies, which will serve the cause of the donor corporate.
2. Heard Sri.Liju V. Stephen, the learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri.Murali Purushothaman, learned standing counsel for the Election Commission and Sri.N.Nagaresh, learned Assistant Solicitor General.
3. We have carefully considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner and find that the Election Laws of India provide sufficient safeguard to enable a voter to cast his vote as per his wish without fear or favour. In fact, providing of money as incentive, is a corrupt practice under the Election Laws and therefore, no political party is capable of buying voter's allegiance through corporate donation.
4. In the above circumstances, it cannot be said that contribution of the corporates to the coffers of the political parties will have any bearing on how voters exercise their franchise, in favour of one party or the other.
5. It may also be apposite reflect on the fact that the amendments which are impugned in the present proceedings, i.e., the Companies Act, 2013, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 would suggest policy decision of the Government to regulate receipt of contribution to the political parties and to ensure transparency in such contributions. In fact a process is in place, whereby such contribution can only be made by cheques and this will surely ensure transparency. Therefore, it is questionable whether the court should enter into the domain of the policy decisions of the State, which have found expressions through the amendments brought about in the various enactments.
6. Considering the above, we are of the considered view that the present petition structured in the manner indicated should not be entertained and the same is accordingly dismissed.