Complimentary Food for Voters ELECTION 2024

Karnataka High Court Greenlights Free or Complimentary Food for Voters, with Conditions

BENGALURU, India — The Karnataka High Court has granted interim permission for the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association to offer free or discounted food to those who vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with a key condition: compliance with the Model Code of Conduct and other applicable laws.

The Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association has also been given the green light by the Karnataka High Court to offer free or Complimentary Food to voters.

Karnataka High Court Greenlights Complimentary Food for Voters, with Conditions

The interim order was issued by Justice M. Nagaprasanna in response to a petition from the association, which complained that election authorities had not considered multiple representations requesting permission to provide complementary food to encourage voter turnout in Bengaluru, known for its lower voting rates.

The High Court clarified that while hoteliers can offer such incentives to boost voter participation, they must ensure they do not breach the Model Code of Conduct or any other regulations. Non-compliance could result in legal action.

The association referenced a similar decision by the court last year, where they were allowed to provide complimentary food to voters under certain conditions. They reaffirmed their commitment to abide by the same terms, stating they have given an undertaking to election authorities to comply with all conditions set by the court.

The move is part of efforts to address low voter turnout in Bengaluru and encourage civic participation. It aligns with a broader push to engage citizens in the democratic process and increase electoral participation in the city.

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However, the court’s order underscores the importance of adhering to election regulations. The association must ensure that any food offerings do not amount to undue influence or violate other provisions that govern fair elections.