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Report No. 255

(iii) Corrupt practice

7.50. It is also essential that an election be liable to be declared void by the High Court if it is found that paid news has vitiated it. For this purpose, in accordance with Section 100 of the RP Act, it is necessary to make paying for news a 'corrupt practice' under Section 123 of the RP Act. As demonstrated above, there is an arguable case that paying for news constitutes 'undue influence' for the purpose of Section 123(2) of the RP Act.

However it requires evidence to be adduced which might be difficult to obtain. To remove any difficulty in this regard, a presumption must be established by law that paying for news would constitute 'undue influence'. Thus we recommend the introduction of Section 123(2)(a)(iii) which will read as follows:

"(iii) pays for news"

This is an addition to a provision which already deems certain acts to constitute 'undue influence' and achieves the object with minimum legislative amendment.

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