Consumer Fed can hold Ramazan-Vishu fairs; High Court

Kochi: The High Court has given conditional permission to Consumerfed to conduct Ramzan-Vishu marketing fairs in the state. Justice Devan Ramachandran ordered that the government should not use marketing fairs for any kind of election campaign.

The High Court also stated that the Election Commission has full freedom to intervene if any violation of the Election Code of Conduct is found in the conduct of markets. Consumerfed approached the High Court against the Election Commission’s ban on conducting Ramzan-Vishu markets with government subsidy of Rs 5 crore as a violation of the Election Code of Conduct.

The scheme is to distribute 13 food items at subsidized rates through Ramzan-Vishu marketing fairs. Consumer fed also informed the court that these food items have already been procured. After that, the court gave permission to conduct the market with conditions. People have no money Welfare pensions are also partially provided. The court also said that the people are in great difficulty.

The registrar of cooperatives had submitted a project proposal to the government on March 6 to start the Ramzan-Vishu market. But the government gave permission only on April 5. The court asked why there was a delay of one month in this regard. People should be benefited and should not be an election campaign.

Thinking that the government is giving it, it is not the government’s money. It is the money of the people for the people. Election-related freebies are a nationwide affair. Even the Supreme Court has expressed concern about this. Therefore, the court had verbally said that such projects should not be election propaganda. The court also reiterated this in the judgment.

The Central Election Commission has denied permission to start Ramzan-Vishu markets in the state with government subsidy as it would be a violation of the code of conduct. It was decided to start 250 Ramazan-Vishu markets across the state from 8th to 14th. Government subsidy of Rs 5 crore has also been sanctioned for this purpose. The Commission pointed out that with the April 26 elections, providing goods at subsidized rates would influence voters. Consumerfed approached the High Court against this.