HC quashes EC order on cash seizure
The Gujarat High Court today quashed and set aside the Election Commission order to carry out seizures of more than Rs 2.5 lakh cash in transit following enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in the poll-bound state.
Quashing the EC order, a division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala, held that the EC's action to intercept and seize cash in transit beyond 2.50 lakh is definately in violation of personal privacy of citizens.
The bench directed the EC to stop random checking and harassing common people as it is in violation of fundamental right of privacy.
Two PILs were filed by NGO Bhagyoday Jan Parishad and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), questioning the EC's powers to intercept and seize cash in transit.
In their petitions, they have submitted that as per the provisions of the Constitution and Representation of the People Act 1951, the EC has no powers to carry out surprise searches and seizures of cash before the nomination of candidates.
Whereas the Commission had argued that Article 324 of the Constitution confers absolute powers to the Commission for "superintendence, direction and control" of conduct of all elections, the EC has the power to curb the flow of unaccounted money during this election period.