HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

PIL in SC to ban caste, religion-based rallies

PTI  New Delhi, September 30, 2013
First Published: 19:13 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:17 IST(30/9/2013)

A PIL was on Monday filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and ministry of information and broadcasting to ban religious and caste-based rallies of political parties which allegedly influence voters on the basis of religion.

The petition also sought a direction to frame guidelines restraining the media from telecasting and writing articles based on religion or caste.

The PIL, filed by NGO Yatharth Foundation, through advocate Sanobar Ali Qureshi, also said the ministry of I&B be directed to restrain the media from showing the reports on the basis of caste and religion.

The NGO said the Allahabad High Court had on July 11 banned such caste-based rallies and he has moved this plea for restraining the political parties from holding such rallies in the entire country.

The plea has made the Centre, the ministry of information and broadcasting and the Election Commission as respondents.

The petition said political parties cannot organize their rallies based on religion in order to influence the independent decision of voters.

"Many leaders of political parties are giving interviews stating very clearly that such and such group/caste/religion is supporting such and such political parties which is making the voters disillusioned, dismayed and betrayed because of being placed at a disadvantageous position in the number game of vote politics," it said.

"All the institutions like the Election Commission or the Ministry of I&B are duty-bound to ensure free and fair election and as such there is an urgent need for framing the rules and regulation for controlling the media in order to check the political conspiracy of dividing voters on the basis of caste, creed or religion," the PIL said.

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