Monday, May 27, 2024

Delhi HC rejects plea seeking 6 years poll-ban on PM Modi

The Delhi High Court rejected a petition asking the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for soliciting votes for the upcoming Lok Sabha election “in the name of god and place of worship,” a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

The petition, submitted by attorney Mr. Anand S. Jondhale, was deemed as “thoroughly misconceived for multiple reasons,” by Justice Sachin Datta, who heard the plea. The judge further said that a complaint against Mr. Modi made by Mr. Jondhale is currently under investigation by the election commission.

“Once the petitioner [Mr Jondhale] has submitted his complaint on April 10 at the ECI, there is no occasion for the petitioner to approach the court prior to the disposal of his complaint by the ECI,” the court declared.

In accordance with the Representation of Peoples Act, Mr. Jondhale additionally sought the ECI for a directive to bar Mr. Modi from elections for six years.

His complaint is based on Prime Minister Modi’s public appeal to vote for his party “in the name of Hindu deities and places of worship and also in the name of Sikh deities and Sikh places of worship” during a speech in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh.

However, the court refused to acknowledge the violation of the conduct in Modi’s statement, saying the appellant’s presumption is ‘unjustified.’

“It is also not permissible for the court to direct the ECI to take a particular view on the petitioner’s complaint or any other complaint for that matter. The ECI is obliged to take an independent view on petitioner’s complaint,” the judge added.

During the hearing, ECI’s counsel submitted that the complaint made by Mr Jondhale will be duly processed and appropriate orders will be issued, The Hindu reported.

“If the petitioner is aggrieved by the ECI’s order, it can take appropriate legal remedies,” the court assured.

Earlier this month, Mr Jondhale had complained to the poll panel against Prime Minister Modi regarding the same issue. “But till date no action has been taken,” the petition stated.

Prime Minister Modi said that he has constructed the Ram Temple, developed Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and removed GST from material used in Langars served in Gurudwaras. He has also said that he had brought back the copies of Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan, the plea stated.

On these grounds, the petitioner  claimed that Prime Minister Modi “not only sought votes in the name of Hindu and Sikh Deities and their Places of Worship, but also made comments against opposite political parties as favouring Muslims”.

“Thus, the Respondent No.2 (PM Modi) has violated the Model Code of Conduct…which states that no Party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes or communities, religious or linguistic,” the plea asserted.

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