- Manifestos have become a mere piece of paper: Justice Khehar
- Parties give "brazen" excuses to justify non-fulfillment of poll promises
- Poll panel takes action against parties for model code violation
"Now a days, manifestos have become a mere piece of paper, for this political parties have to be made accountable," Justice Kehar said at a seminar on 'Economic Reforms with Reference to Electoral Issues'.
Speaking in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, the CJI said political parties give "brazen" excuses such as lack of consensus amongst their members to justify the non-fulfillment of electoral promises.
He also said manifestos remain "pieces of paper" due to short-term memory of voters.
On political manifestos released during the 2014 general elections, the CJI said none of them indicated any link between electoral reforms and the Constitutional goal of ensuring socio-economic justice for the marginalised.
He said pursuant to the Supreme Court's directions to the Election Commission to form guidelines against freebies, the poll panel has been taking action against parties for violation of the model code of conduct.
Justice Dipak Misra, the next senior-most judge, said "purchasing power has no room in elections" and a candidate must bear in mind that "contesting elections is not an investment".
He said holding of elections has to be "bereft of or sans criminalisation" and people should vote for candidates based on their high moral and ethical values and "not on their competitive demerits".
"Candidates and voters must remember that out of debt is out of danger," Justice Misra said, adding the day a voter goes to vote without being tempted "would be a glorious day for democracy".
(With PTI Inputs)