It is unfair to the judiciary to seek to involve it in deeply political matters. The PIL in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on political parties making all sorts of promises on poll-eve was one such case of treating judiciary as an all-solution forum. Hearing the plea last Friday, the Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud plainly admitted that “… before elections all kinds of promises are made. We cannot control it.” Regardless of the blatant enticement of voters by political parties through offers of cash or kind, there is little that the courts can do in the matter. Maybe, only maybe, the Election Commission may be equipped to devise some norms in the matter after wider consultations with political parties, but no constitutional authority can prevent our ambitious politicians from promising the moon to the voters in return of their support.
It is good that the SC has shown reluctance to intervene in the matter, though it still sought a response to the PIL from governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the two states specifically mentioned by the petitioner for distributing goodies on the poll-eve. There is so much on the SC’s plate, and already there are complaints heard from politicians that it intervenes even in policy matters, CJI Chandrachud’s disinclination to entertain the PIL was most welcome. Eventually, in a democratic system there can be no substituting an enlightened electorate able to see through a poll-eve bribe for what it is and spurn the political party offering it.