Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘Cannot micromanage EC,’ responds Delhi HC to plea seeking FIR against PM Modi’s anti-Muslim hate speeches

The Delhi High Court ruled on Friday that it cannot  micromanage the Election Commission of India (ECI).

In response to a petition seeking to file a first information report (FIR) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making hate speeches during the Lok Sabha election campaign, Justice Sachin Datta made the statement.

“Who is to decide that there has been violation of the model code of conduct? ECI is a constitutional body, we cannot micromanage it,” the Bench remarked.

The plea has been filed by Shaheen Abdulla, Amitabha Pande and Deb Mukharji.

Attorney Nizam Pasha represented the petitioners in court, stating that a uniform action was required and that ECI’s actions should not be contingent on the identity of the speaker of hate speech, Bar and Bench reported.

Attorney Suruchi Suri, speaking on behalf of the ECI, stated that the commission has sent notice on the complaints it has received and that it is awaiting a response from the ruling party by May 15, following which legal action will be taken.

However, the Court asked Pasha to bring the pertinent documents on record and scheduled a follow-up hearing for Monday, May 13.

The petition refers to Prime Minister Modi’s anti-Muslim hate speech at Banswara, Rajasthan, where he stated that the Congress will take people’s money and give it to those who have “more children” and “infiltrators” .

The plea also cited Modi’s April 24 speech in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, wherein he claimed that the Congress party had implemented reservation based on religion.

The plea claimed that the ECI had failed to act effectively in spite of many complaints from various persons.

“This inaction on the part of the Respondent [ECI] is manifestly arbitrary, malafide, impermissible and constitutes a violation of its constitutional duty. It amounts to rendering the MCC futile, the very purpose of which is to ensure that communal harmony and the spirit of brotherhood is not given a go-by by candidates to secure victory in the elections. It is further submitted that the omissions and commissions by Respondent are not only in complete and direct violation of Articles 14, 21 and 324 of the Constitution of India but are also impeding free, fair and unbiased General Elections,” the petition said.

The petition further stated that no such action has been taken against PM Modi, and the notice regarding his speech was also sent to the President of the BJP, despite the fact that the ECI has issued notices to a number of politicians, including K Chandrasekhar Rao, Atishi, Dilip Ghosh, and others.

The petition also cited speeches by BJP President JP Nadda and Union Minister Anurag Thakur and sought action against all the leaders who have made hate speeches.

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