SC closes case on EC inaction over PM speeches, Cong can file new petition

Updated on May 09, 2019 08:44 AM IST

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said they could not go into orders passed by the poll panel unless these were challenged on specific grounds.

Congress leader Sushmita Dev had initially approached the Supreme Court to get the poll panel into action.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Congress leader Sushmita Dev had initially approached the Supreme Court to get the poll panel into action.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain the Congress’s complaint against a string of clean chits handed out by the Election Commission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP boss Amit Shah. A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said they could not go into orders passed by the poll panel unless these were specifically challenged.

Congress leader Sushmita Dev had initially approached the Supreme Court on April 29, accusing the poll panel of inaction on complaints that PM Modi and Amit Shah had violated the model code of conduct. In the initial petition, the Silchar lawmaker had listed several complaints against the two leaders for their election speeches.

After the Supreme Court got into the picture, the election commission fast-tracked the complaints that had been pending for weeks. On May 2, the Supreme Court also set a deadline for the election commission to clear the backlog of complaints against the PM.

But the poll panel did not file any instance of poll code violation against PM Modi.

On Monday, the Congress leader filed another affidavit alleging that the Election Commission’s decisions were arbitrary and lacked transparency because the commission had withheld the dissent note submitted by one of the three election commissioners.

“We don’t see how we can go into the orders of the Election Commission unless a specific challenge is made,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, refusing to entertain the petition that had been filed against the delayed action by the panel.

In its new affidavit, Dev had also cited a complaint filed with the EC on May 6 – the Congress party’s most recent one – after PM Modi reportedly made “unprecedented, obscene and derogatory remarks” in a speech against former Prime Minister of India, the late Rajiv Gandhi.

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