Singhvi said that there is no set time schedule in the Model Code of Conduct for the commission to resolve these complaints.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Congress party to place on record the Election Commission’s orders giving clean chit to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on charges of poll code violations by their election speeches.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioner Congress MP and party women wing president Susmita Dev, submitted before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta that in cases where similar phraseology was employed by other politicians in the course of campaigning, action was taken but the PM and Mr Shah have been exonerated.
Mr Singhvi also contended that most of these decisions rendered by the EC in favour of Mr Modi and Mr Shah have not been unanimous, and that one of the election commissioners has dissented in “five out of the six orders.”
The petitioner has not been supplied with the copies of these orders, Mr Singhvi said. He said that there is no set time schedule in the Model Code of Conduct for the commission to resolve these complaints.
Mr Singhvi said the representations made by the petitioner came to be addressed only a month later, by which time over four phases of the elections have been completed, making the complaints infructuous.
The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 8. He urged the court to take up the larger issue of prescribing guidelines to govern instances of violation of the Model Code of Conduct in the future. Senior counsel Rakesh Diwedi appeared for the Commission. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 8.
The petitioner said that the Congress has led verifiable evidence on the MCC violation by Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah for delivering hate speeches and invoking armed forces in their campaigning despite a clear ban by the EC. The lack of decision despite cogent evidences, representations and exhortations to the Respondent/ECI demonstrates abdication and indecision and a complete absence of justice, in ensuring a level playing field in ensuing General Elections for the Lok Sabha.
She said the inaction, omissions and commissions by the Respondent/ECI are in complete and direct violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and which are impeding free, fair and unbiased General Elections, 2019. The petitioner submitted that since March 10, i.e. the date on which General Elections 2019, were notified, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and the BJP President, Mr. Amit Shah, specifically in sensitive areas and States, have ex-facie violated the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Election Rules and the process, thereof.
The Prime Minister in blatant violation of the MCC held a rally on the day of polling in Gujarat on April 23, on the date of voting for the third phase of the election. Objection has been taken to certain statements of PM Modi, including a comment made in Hindi in Wardha on April 1 viz “How can the Congress be forgiven for insulting the Hindus in front of the world? Weren’t you hurt when you heard the word ‘Hindu terror’? How can a community known for peace, brotherhood and harmony be linked with terrorism? In the thousand years of history, not a single incident shows an act of Hindu terrorism. Even the British historians could never find it”.
And a few by Shah, such as “Rahul had defamed the Hindu religion all over the world. Even the court has stated that there is nothing like Hindu terror” and “Rahul should apologise for defaming the Hindu religion by linking it to terror.” She pointed out that the EC had earlier taken stern action against BSP President Mayawati and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for similar violations, banning them from the campaigning for a stipulated period but no action has been taken against Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah for similar violations.