HC reserves order on PIL challenging post-poll alliances

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a PIL opposing the practice of forging post-poll alliances by political parties to gain power on the ground that electors are being kept in the dark about it at the time of casting their votes.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a PIL opposing the practice of forging post-poll alliances by political parties to gain power on the ground that electors are being kept in the dark about it at the time of casting their votes.

"We will consider your plea and arguments and pass an appropriate order," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The court was hearing the plea of advocate Mithilesh Kumar Pandey who has challenged the "validity of post-poll alliances among political parties" on the ground that the same is a "breach of the promises made by them during the election campaigns".

On the issue of enforcement of promises made in poll manifestos, the bench said the Supreme Court has held that political parties are not bound by the same.

On the issue of post-poll alliances, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said there are several national and regional parties and often such alliances have to be entered into to ensure a government is formed as it would not be feasible to conduct elections till one party has an absolute majority.

"We can't have elections at the drop of a hat," the ASG added.

He also said "promises in poll manifestos can only be followed to the extent it is possible", adding that in future "we may be able to have electoral reforms of this nature when our democracy is more mature".

Pandey, however, was of the view that promises made in the manifesto has to be enforced as otherwise it would amount to breach of trust.

His PIL has sought a direction "declaring unconstitutional the practice of post-poll alliances among parties which contested elections against each other".

"Issue directions preventing political parties from violating their own manifestos when such parties enter into post-poll electoral alliances in order to form a government," his petition has also stated.

It has also stated that the competent authority be directed to "take steps to make the manifesto a legally-binding document".

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