<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has challenged the Election Commission’s (EC) Election Expense and Monitoring Manual, in which it has given ample power and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Static Surveillance Team to check and seize cash. When the matter came up for hearing before the first division bench court, the EC sought more time for its stand.GCCI, through a petition, has challenged the Election Commissioner’s Expense Manual. Petitioner’s contention is that SOP is in violation of the fundamental rights of the citizen, it is absolutely illegal, ultra vires and interference into one’s privacy and right to life.Petitioner’s say is that Static Surveillance Team (SST) is given power to create check posts, check each and every vehicle and if any cash is found without supportive documents, it can seize the same and later hand over to either the treasury or if the amount is beyond Rs. 2.5 lakh in cash, it would inform the Income Tax department.When the petition was heard, the first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi questioned the motive behind the petition at this stage, as already one such petition is pending before the court. The petitioner claimed those directions are not implemented in toto and hence they had to approach the court again.Appearing for the EC, senior counsel Percy Kavina submitted he will need to take instructions from the Commission on the issue, as such petition is pending before the SC. He also said that he needs to find if the Commission would like to file reply in this petition or will be requesting the SC for priority of the pending petition.
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