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PIL seeks minimum two-year punishment for electoral offences

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) says that since year 2000, not only in parliamentary elections or state assembly elections, “bribery is used to garner support even in the by-elections”.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) A PIL filed in the Supreme Court has sought a minimum punishment of two years for electoral offences involving bribery, undue influence, impersonation, false statement, illegal payments and non-filing of election accounts by candidates and political parties.

Referring to a February 1992 Election Commission proposal, the petitioner, Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has sought a declaration that the electoral offences be considered cognisable offences.

Pointing to February 15, 1992 proposal of the Election Commission to make electoral offences a cognisable offence, petitioner, who is also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said “successive governments did nothing in this regard to date”.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) says that since year 2000, not only in parliamentary elections or state assembly elections, “bribery is used to garner support even in the by-elections”.

The petitioner says that use of unfair practices during elections by candidates and political parties is against the dictum of democracy and the free and fair elections in the spirit of Article 14, 19 and 324 of the Constitution.

Referring to Section 171H and 171I of the IPC which punishes bribery, undue influence and impersonation during elections, the PIL petitioner has contended that these are non-cognizable offences with a punishment of one-year imprisonment or fine or both.

He said that this was the position way back in 1920 and should undergo change by making these offences cognizable with a minimum punishment of two-year imprisonment.

Upadhyay has said that in 2012, the Election Commission had recommended to the Centre to amend the existing law to make bribery during elections (both cash and kind) a cognizable offence to enable police to arrest the violators without a warrant.

Although the Union Home Ministry conveyed to the Election Commission that it has initiated the process to amend the Sections 171B and 171E of the Indian Penal Code but government has done nothing in this regard to date, says the PIL.

The Home Ministry has conveyed to the Election Commission that it has initiated the process to amend Sections 171B and 171E of the Indian Penal Code for the same, but the government is yet to do anything in this regard, it says.

Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 8-yr-old raped in Azamgarh village

The girl was rushed to a hospital where her condition was stated to be serious, the police said.

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gang rape

Azamgarh (UP), Sep 30 : An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 20-year-old man in a village in Jiyanpur area of the Azamgarh district, police said on Wednesday.

The accused took the girl with himself from her home telling her mother that she would have her bath in his house, the police said, quoting from the complaint lodged by the girl’s mother.

The accused had also taken from the girl’s mother her clothes, the police aid.

But when the child returned from the neighbour’s house, she was writhing in pain and bleeding, the police said.

The girl was rushed to a hospital where her condition was stated to be serious, the police said.

Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh said the accused, identified as Danish, has been arrested.

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Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 14-year-old raped in Bulandshahr

A report has been lodged against the accused and efforts are on to nab him. The accused will be taken into custody soon, police said.

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gang rape

Bulandshahr (UP), Sep 30 : A minor girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, police said on Wednesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh said on Wednesday night, the girl’s father submitted a complaint in this regard, alleging that his 14-year-old daughter was raped by their neighbour Rizwan (20) on Tuesday night.

The victim is undergoing medical treatment. A report has been lodged against the accused and efforts are on to nab him. The accused will be taken into custody soon, police said.

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India

‘No moral right to continue’: Priyanka Gandhi’s scathing attack on Yogi Adityanath after death of Hathras gang-rape victim

The 19-year-old died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday. The woman was admitted there in a critical condition after being brutally raped by four men in her village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

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Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi took on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for the death of Hathras rape victim, saying he doesn’t have any moral right to continue as chief minister.

“I was on the phone with the Hathras victim’s father when he was informed that his daughter had passed away. I heard him cry out in despair. He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites,” Gandhi said in her first two tweets on the issue on Wednesday.

She also asked Adityanath to resign. “@myogiadityanath RESIGN. Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as Chief Minister,” Gandhi tweeted.

The 19-year-old died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday. The woman was admitted there in a critical condition after being brutally raped by four men in her village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

The incident took place on September 14. She was first admitted to JN Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh, but was shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after her condition deteriorated where she breathed her last.

The UP government has been facing flak from Opposition parties over the issue. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had said that “no hope” is left from the “insensitive government”.

Reacting to the incident, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati tweeted in Hindi, “The news of the death of the Dalit girl after gangrape in Hathras, UP, is very sad. The government should provide all possible help to the victim’s family and ensure quick punishment to the culprits by prosecuting them in a fast-track court.”

The Congress has questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and women leaders of his party and alleged that Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government has become the country’s “crime capital”.

At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that for eight days no gangrape charges were pressed in the matter and that the UP chief minister’s information advisor and Agra Police kept calling the incident “fake news”.

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