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Direct cash transfer schemes akin to electoral bribery: Petition in SC

The scheme was announced in the interim Budget presented on February 1, with retrospective effect from December 2019

Tuesday July 2, 2019 8:35 PM, IANS

PM Kisan Yojana

New Delhi: An economics scholar, who contested the recent Lok Sabha polls from Eluru in Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court, claiming the level playing field in these elections had been disturbed by the cash benefit transfer schemes, including the PM Kisan Yojana.

Pentapati Pulla Rao, who contested as a candidate of Janasena Party, alleged that these schemes were electoral bribes processed during the course of election process without budgetary allocation to gain unfair advantage.

The petitioner, through advocate Sravan Kumar, said he made a complaint to the Election Commission on the implementation of direct cash transfer scheme by Andhra Pradesh government during the election process, but the poll body did not respond.

Rao's petition also criticized the Centre's PM Kisan, under which small and marginal farmers will receive Rs 6,000 annually in three installments and the amount will be transferred directly to the beneficiary's bank account.

The scheme was announced in the interim Budget presented on February 1, with retrospective effect from December 2019.

The petitioner said that under the PM Kisan scheme, the second installment of payment was to be made in April, after the Election Model Code of Conduct came into effect.

"But the Election Commission of India has not taken any action, as it was launched before the announcement of election schedule, hence the Model Code of Conduct does not apply," he said.

Rao's counsel told the court that the essence of these cash transfer schemes disturbed the balanced playing field during the election and gave advantage to the ruling party.

The petition urged the court to declare these cash transfer schemes before or during the elections as illegal and unconstitutional.

According to the Rao's counsel, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, after hearing initial arguments on the matter, issued notices to the Centre and state governments made respondents in the petition.

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