Upset over a series of violations of model code of conduct, the Supreme Court today pulled up the Election Commission of India, and asked a representative to be present in court on Tuesday, to explain its stand. The top court will examine what powers the Election Commission has to punish those making hate speeches along religious lines during poll campaigns.
The court was hearing a plea seeking strict action against political parties who use religion and caste issues during campaigns.
“What you are doing,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the election body, on leaders violating model code of conduct during campaigns. “If someone does something they should not be doing you should get into it…what is this about filing affidavits,” said the Chief Justice.
When the election body replied that it seeks a reply after issuing a notice, the court said, “How many notices have you issued and against whom?”
Specifically mentioning the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Chief Justice Gogoi asked whether action has been taken against Yogi Adityanath? The poll panel representative replied that the case has been “closed”.
Coming down strongly on the election body’s representative, the Supreme Court said, “Are you aware of your powers? We will get the Chief Election Commissioner here if you don’t answer the questions.”
At loss for words on the election body’s reply, the top court said, “The Election Commission says ‘we are toothless’! They issue a notice if someone violates model code…or uses religion or caste for votes…then an advisory of they don’t follow notice.”
“We would like to examine the matter, we want a representative of the EC who is conversant with the details to appear,” the court said.
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