Section 123 (2) gives the “undue influence” which could be exercised by a candidate or his agent during an election a much wider connotation than this expression has under the Indian Contract Act. “Undue influence”, as an election offence under the English law is explained as follows in Halsbury’s Laws of England, Third Edition, Vol. 14, pp. 223-224 (para 387):
“A person is guilty of undue influence, if he directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint, or inflicts, or threatens to inflict by himself or by any other person, any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person in order to induce or compel that person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of that person having voted or refrained from voting.
“ A person is also guilty of undue influence if, by abduction, duress or any fraudulent device or contrivance, he impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of an elector or proxy for an elector, or thereby compels, induces or prevails upon an elector or proxy for an elector either to vote or to refrain from voting”.
It will be seen that the English law on the subject has the same object as the relevant provisions of Section 123 of our Act. But, the provisions of Section 123 (2), (3) and (3A) seem wider in scope and also contain specific mention of what may be construed as “undue influence” viewed in the background of our political history and the special conditions which have prevailed in this country[AIR 1975 SC 1788 ]
Categories: Judicial Dictionary