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Move HC, SC tells petitioner on plea over loan waivers

PTI

New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Monday told a petitioner to approach the high court with his plea seeking restrain on political parties from offering loan waivers and other monetary schemes in their election manifestos.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer.

“Counsel for the petitioner seeks permission to withdraw this petition with liberty to approach the high court. Permission sought for is granted. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the afore-mentioned liberty,” the bench said in its order.

The plea, filed by advocate Reena N Singh, had said that political parties should be restrained from offering loan waivers and other monetary schemes in their poll manifestos as these plans involve public funds and adversely affect the economy. The plea further said that the Centre as also the states should not be allowed to waive loans and banks need to be restrained from technical write-offs of non-performing assets (NPA) to ensure that their financial condition is not camouflaged.

Singh also said the Centre and states should formulate an agricultural policy which makes the sector profitable and assists farmers in becoming prosperous, increasing their interest in farming.

“Political parties should not be permitted to offer loan waiving schemes or any other monetary schemes in their election manifestos,” the petition had said.

“The political parties whether in power or in opposition should not be allowed to manipulate public funds for their political motives to attract a section of mass voters or vote banks at the cost of public funds which belongs to country,” it said.

Besides the Centre, states and Union Territories, the plea had arrayed as parties the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Election Commission of India (ECI), Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance.

The plea said waiver of bank loans should not be allowed to ensure transparency and fairness regarding use of public funds.

It said political parties are offering loan waiver schemes in their election manifesto by ignoring its negative effects on the Indian economy and they are using this “offer of manipulation of public fund as a tool to achieve their political motives to come to power”.

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