Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Bring us Election Commission’s clean chit order for PM Modi, Shah: Supreme Court tells Congress MP Sushmita Dev

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 06 May 2019, 12:11 PM
PM Modi, Amit Shah (File Photo)
PM Modi, Amit Shah (File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday asked Congress MP Sushmita Dev to bring on record Election Commission orders giving clean chit to PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on complaints of poll code violation.

It is to be noted that Sushmita Dev, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam and President of 'All India Mahila Congress' filed a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission to decide without any "demur" the complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on their alleged hate speeches and using armed forces for political propaganda.

In her plea, Dev alleged that "inaction" by EC on complaints against top BJP leaders was "a sign of invidious discrimination" and was "arbitrary, capricious and impermissible" as it was destructive of the integrity of electoral process.

"The inactions, omissions and commissions by the EC are in complete and direct violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and which are impeding free, fair and unbiased General Elections," the plea said.

The plea further listed out several alleged instances of MCC violations by Modi and Shah in their meetings and referred to as the first violation the speech of PM Modi at a rally at Wardha, Maharashtra, on April 1 where he had allegedly raised the issue of 'bhagva aatankwad' (saffron terror). Modi had also allegedly raised the issue of the Congress President fighting polls from Wayanad in Kerala.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally where he gave a hate-speech and sought votes in the name of Armed Forces in Wardha, Maharashtra," the plea also alleged.

It also referred to the EC's circulars prohibiting parties and candidates from using pictures of armed forces for their political propaganda and using religions.

"The purpose of all these rules and regulations is to ensure a level playing field for all candidates regardless of position, influence or ideology and also to ensure that the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process is not undermined by unscrupulous individuals," the plea added.

The plea said that under the Constitution, the poll panel is the "watchdog of free and fair elections and is duty-bound to circumvent the pressure and ascertain that ensuing elections are free from any impediments in order to uphold the democratic sanctity and fundamental rights of the voter".

It alleged that the PM Modi, in blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct, held a rally on the day of polling in Gujarat on April 23.

"Such brazen violations are neither minor nor procedural, in any manner. It is matter of record that other candidates who have been in breach of the electoral laws including the MCC have had strictures and directions passed against them including ban from campaigning for 72 hours," it said.

Dev alleged that the EC has been guarded and oblivious to comprehensive complaints against the Prime Minister and Amit Shah.

The Plea said, "The inaction on the part of the EC is a sign of invidious discrimination and is arbitrary, capricious and impermissible, which apart from constituting clear and material infraction of the Petitioner's Fundamental Rights under Article 14 and 21 ...is also ex-facie destructive of the integrity of the Electoral Process, whereby certain selected very powerful individuals have been permitted to gain an unfair electoral advantage by their material infractions of the RP Act, Election Rules and the MCC."

The plea is solely directed against inaction of EC for more than three weeks, it alleged, adding that the EC has become "a tool in the hands of the dispensation to facilitate violation of the provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of the Act and the Rules".

First Published: Monday, May 06, 2019 11:59 AM
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