New Delhi, May 6, 2019-
On a complaint alleging violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) during the ongoing elections, the Supreme Court on Monday asked Congress MP Sushmita Dev to produce the evidence on record regarding the Election Commission’s (EC) order giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
A bench headed headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has listed the matter for further hearing on May 8.
Dev is the Congress MP representing the Silchar Lok Sabha seat in Assam.
Representing Dev, senior advocate A. M. Singhvi said that the EC has not been reasonable in declining the complaints registered by the Congress party on the violation of the MCC by the Prime Minister and the BJP President by purposely using the armed forces in their election campaign in order to gain political mileage.
Singhvi also mentioned that many orders of the poll body contained dissenting notes by its officials.
Singhvi said: “The court should lay down guidelines as it relates to the basic structure and dissent of the official must be disclosed in all cases…the apex court must look into some orders”
The bench asked Dev’s counsel to file an additional affidavit in court documenting,
on record, the poll body’s orders on the complaints of MCC violations by the BJP leaders.
The apex court on Thursday directed the EC to decide on all the remaining complaints against Modi and Shah filed by the Congress party regarding the violation of MCC before May 6.
The EC has already given a clean chit to Modi in respect two speeches — one in Latur (Maharashtra) urging first time voters to exercise their right in favour of the Balakot air strike heroes and the soldiers martyered in the Pulwana attack, and the second in Wayanad (Kerala) where, he said, the majority is in a minority, and the maximum voters in the constituency are from minority community.
In her petition, Dev alleged that “inaction” by the poll panel on complaints against top BJP leaders was “a sign of invidious discrimination”, and maintaining such an approach is destructive, which will cast doubt on the integrity of electoral process.
Dev said in her petition:, “The Prime Minister in blatant violation of the MCC held a rally on the day of polling in Gujarat on April 23rd, 2019, i.e. date of voting for the third phase of the election.” (Agency)