Fact Check: Has SC ordered taxpayers’ group which will decide on election freebies?
New Delhi, Aug 10: Will India soon have the largest organisation of taxpayers in the world based on a recommendation by the Supreme Court?
Well if the social media is to be believed then this is about to happen. Social media users have said, no matter which Government is ruling, without the approval of this Organisation, no free electricity, free water, free distribution, or loan waivers can be announced by any government implement them. As the Money belongs to our tax payments, so the taxpayers should have the right to oversee its use.
While it is true that the Supreme Court recently recommended a committee comprising several stakeholders that would look into matters related to freebies announced by political parties during the elections, it is however yet to mentions the limitations and powers of such a committee.
"Keeping in mind the prayers made in these petitions which relate to distribution of freebies by political parties, we are of the considered view that it would be appropriate to constitute an Expert Body with representatives of all the stakeholders: the beneficiaries, those opposing freebies, Central Government, State Governments, opposition parties, Finance Commission, Reserve Bank of India, Niti Ayog etc., to name a few, to take a holistic and comprehensive view of the matter and making their recommendations," the Supreme Court had said on August 3.
"The Election Commission and the government cannot say that we cannot do anything about this. They have to consider the issue and give suggestions," the bench said.
The Centre, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, supported the PIL and said,"The freebies distribution inevitably leads to future economic disaster and the voters also cannot exercise their right to choose as an informed, wise decision." The top court, while listing the PIL of lawyer Ashwini Updhyay for further hearing on Thursday, said all stakeholders should think on it and give suggestions so it could set up a body to address the issue, a PTI report said.
"We are of the considered opinion that all the stakeholder, beneficiaries... and the government and organisations like Niti Aayog, Finance Commission, RBI and the opposition parties have to be involved in the process of brainstorming and giving some constructive suggestions on these issues," a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said.
Going through the order of the Supreme Court in detail, it is clear that no decision to form an all India organisation of taxpayers has been taken. Hence the claims being made in the social media are misleading. The SC has only recommended a committee that will advise on issues related to election freebies. However it has not yet been mentioned that the freebies cannot be implemented without the approval of such a committee.
SC directs setting up of taxpayers’ organisation without whose approval election freebies cannot be announced
SC has recommended a committee which would advise government on freebies. The powers and limitations of this committee are yet to be assigned