120. Corrupt practices

The following shall be deemed to be corrupt practices for the purposes of this Act –

  1. ‘Bribery’, that is to say, -
    (A) any gift, offer or promise by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent of any gratification, to any person whomsoever, with the object, directly or indirectly of inducing –
    1. a person to stand or not to stand as, or to withdraw or not to withdraw from being a candidate at an election, or
    2. an elector to vote or refrain from voting at an election, or as a reward to –
      1. a person for having so stood, or not stood, or for having withdrawn or not having withdrawn his candidature; or
      2. an elector for having voted or refrained from voting;

    (B) the receipt of, or agreement to receive, any gratification, whether as a motive or a reward –

    1. by a person for standing or not standing as, or for withdrawing or not withdrawing from being, a candidate; or
    2. by any person whomsoever for himself or any other person for voting or refraining from voting, or inducing or attempting to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting, or any candidate to withdraw or not to withdraw his candidature.

      Explanation. - For the purposes of this clause the term gratification is not restricted to pecuniary gratifications or gratifications estimable in money and it includes all forms of entertainment and all forms of employment for reward but it does not include the payment of expenses bonafide incurred at, or for the purpose of, any election and duly entered in the account of election expenses referred to in Section 85.
  2. ‘Undue influence’, that is to say, any direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere on the part of the candidate, or his agent, or of any other person with the consent of the candidate or his election agent; with the free exercise of any electoral right:
    Provided that –
    1. without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of this clause any such person as is referred to therein who -
      1. threatens any candidate or any elector, or any person in whom a candidate or an elector is interested, with injury of any kind including social ostracism and ex-communication or expulsion from any caste or community; or
      2. induces or attempts to induce a candidate or an elector to believe that he, or any person in whom he is interested, will become or will be tendered an object of divine displeasure or spiritual censure, shall be deemed to interfere with the free exercise of the electoral right of such candidate or elector within the meaning of this clause.
    2. a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action, or the more exercise of a legal right without intent to interfere with an electoral right shall not be deemed to be interference within the meaning of this clause.
  3. The appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community or language or the use of, or appeal to religious symbols or the use of, or appeal to national symbols such as the national flag or the national emblem for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate:
    Provided that no symbol allotted under nay rules made under this Act to a candidate shall be deemed to be a religious symbol or a national symbol for the purposes of this clause.
  4. The promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate.
  5. The publication by a candidate or his agent or by other person, with the consent of a candidate or his election agent, of any statement of fact which is false, and which he either believes to be false or does not believe to be true, in relation to the personal character or conduct of any candidate, or in relation to the candidature, or withdrawal, of any candidate being a statement reasonably calculated to prejudice the prospects of that candidate’s election.
  6. The hiring or procuring, whether on payment or otherwise, of any vehicle or vessel by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent, or the use of such vehicle or vessel for the free conveyance of any elector (other than the candidate himself, the members of his family or his agent) to or from any polling station provided under section 45:

    Provided that the hiring of a vehicle or vessel by an elector or by several electors as their joint cost for the purpose of conveying him or them to and from any such polling station or place fixed for the poll shall not be deemed to be a corrupt practice under this clause if the vehicle or vessel so hired is a vehicle or vessel not propelled by mechanical power:

    Provided further that the use of any public transport, vehicle or vessel or any tramcar or railway carriage by any elector at his own cost for the purpose of going to or coming from any such polling station or place fixed for the poll shall not be deemed to be a corrupt practice under this clause.

    Explanation. – In this clause, expression ‘vehicle’ means any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose of road transport, whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise and whether used for drawing other vehicles or otherwise.
  7. The incurring or authorising of expenditure in contravention of section 85.
  8. The obtaining or procuring or abetting or attempting to obtain or procure by a candidate or his agent or, by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent, any assistance (other than the giving of vote) for the furtherance of the prospects of that candidate’s election, from any person in the service of a panchayat or of Government, and belonging to any of the following classes, namely: -
    1. gazetted officers;
    2. members of police forces;
    3. excise officers;
    4. revenue officers; and
    5. such other class of persons in the service of the Government as may be prescribed;

      Provided that where any person, in the service of the Government and belonging to any of the classes aforesaid, in the discharge or purported discharge or this official duty makes any arrangements or provides any facilities or does any other act or thing, for, to, or in relation to, any candidate or his election agent or any other person acting with the consent of the candidate or his election agent, (whether by reason of the office held by the candidate or for any other reason), such arrangements, facilities or act or thing shall not be deemed to be assistance for the furtherance of the prospects of that candidates election.
  9. Booth capturing by a candidate or his agent or other person acting with the consent of the candidate or his election agent.

    Explanation 1. – In this section the any expression ‘agent includes an election agent, a polling agent and any person who is held to have acted as an agent in connection with the election with the consent of the candidate.
    Explanation 2. – For the purposes of clause (8), a person shall be deemed to assist in the furtherance of the prospects of a candidate’s election if he acts as an election agent of that candidate.
    Explanation 3.– For the purposes of clause (8), notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, the publication in the Gazette of the appointment, resignation, termination of service, dismissal or removal from service of a person in the service of the Government or of a panchayat shall be conclusive proof –
    1. of such appointment, resignation, termination of service, dismissal or removal from service, as the case may be, and
    2. where the date of taking effect of such appointment resignation, termination of service, dismissal or removal from service as the case may be, is stated in such publication; also of the fact that such person was appointed with effect from the said date, or in the case of resignation, termination of service, dismissal or removal from service, such person ceased to be in such service with effect from the said date.

    Explanation 4. – For the purposes of clause (9), ‘both capturing’ shall have the same
    meaning as in section 137.