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Ashwini Upadhya files PIL to make false statement before EC an offence

New Delhi [India], June 10 : A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Supreme Court lawyer, Ashwini Upadhya, seeking its direction to the Central Government to take appropriate steps to make false statement before the Election Commission, a corrupt practice and an electoral offence with enhanced imprisonment of two years.

Upadhyay, in his petition, said, "The Law Commission of India (LCI) in its 244th Report proposed that filing of the false affidavit should be made a cognizable offence with minimum two years imprisonment. In this regard, the Union of India (UOI) did nothing in this regard till date. Hence the present petition has been filed to direct the Government of India to take appropriate steps."

He said that though filing a false affidavit by candidates is an offence, as there is no follow up the action by the Chief Electoral Officer of the constituency, candidates are not punished though they mislead the voters with false information.

Upadhyay further said, "From the year 2000 it is observed that not only the Parliament and State Assembly General Election, even in the by-elections; false affidavit and spurious declaration is given by the contesting candidates, which is against the basic dictum of democracy and free and fair election, in the spirit of Articles 14, 19 and 324 of the Constitution of India."

The BJP leader has also sought a direction to the Centre to amend the Representation of People's Act to ensure that any complaint regarding false statement in the affidavit with respect to the nomination paper shall be filed before the Returning Officer (RO) concerned within a period of 30 days from the date of declaration of the election.

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