Selective raids against opposition during polls unfair: Experts

Professor Trilochan Shastri, a member and trustee of Association for Democratic Reforms, said, “This should be investigated. The law should apply equally to all.
Image of Income Tax department used for representational purposes only
Image of Income Tax department used for representational purposes only

BENGALURU: Following Income Tax department raids against those supporting Congress leaders, experts are questioning the bias of searches and seizures against the opposition alone.

Professor Trilochan Shastri, a member and trustee of Association for Democratic Reforms, said, “This should be investigated. The law should apply equally to all. Selective raids during elections, and only against the opposition, are unprecedented.’’

MG Devasahayam, retired IAS officer and a member of the Constitutional Conduct Group, a group of former bureaucrats seeking fairness in the system, said, “This indicates a failure of the election authorities. Once dates are notified, and till counting ends, the Election Commission has to ensure a level playing field. This is the reason they are given plenipotentiary powers. There have been several cases of errant officials being transferred if excesses are committed. If it’s proved that some people have been selectively targeted during elections, it will only reflect on the Election Commission. Selective raids are not in the interest of free and fair elections.’’

“We are a group of former civil servants who have served Central and state governments in various capacities. We have no affiliation with any political party but are strongly committed to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India. At the Election Commission of India meeting of Election Observers, on March 11, 2024, the Chief Election Commissioner had stressed the importance of ensuring a level playing field for all parties and candidates, and keeping polls free from intimidation and inducements,” Devasahayam said.

“We have informed the EC to ensure this is applicable to Central government agencies such as IT, ED and CBI, and not to state government officials alone.’’

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