NEW DELHI: The seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court today will hear whether seeking votes in the name of religion will amount to corrupt practice under the representation of the people's act warranting disqualification or not.
Last week, the court raised a range of queries on before interpreting the provision (Section 123) of the Representation of People Act (RPA) pertaining to "corrupt practice."
Referring to the terms "national symbols" and "national emblem" in section 123(3) of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, the apex court said that nobody can be allowed to use them to get votes in the elections.
The seven-judge bench comprises Justices Madan B Lokur, SA Bobde, Adarsh Kumar Goel, UU Lalit, DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao.
"Can a person belonging to one community seek votes from members of his community for a candidate belonging to another community? Like a Hindu candidate may use a Muslim religious leader to solicit votes of his community for Hindu candidates by hinting that they would invite "divine displeasure" if they do not vote for a particular candidate," the bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said.
The seven-judge bench is hearing three cases which question the current practice of seeking votes in the name of religion is not a corrupt practice and ask whether candidates who win this way should not be disqualified.