The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition seeking an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the Bharatiya Janata Party’s claim that the Indian National Congress created a toolkit to smear the country’s image, the Bar and Bench reported.
In the case - Shashank Shekhar Jha v. Indian National Congress - advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, the petitioner, asked that the alleged toolkit be investigated to see if it contains any evidence of a crime under section 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), as well as to secure the toolkit’s custody.
The Court, on the other hand, made it clear that such tools are part of political propaganda, and that the petitioner can ignore them if he does not like them.
“Mr. Jha if you don’t like the toolkit ignore the toolkit. this is a part of political propaganda if you don’t like it ignore it," said Justice DY Chandrachud.
Jha, on the other hand, claims that the alleged toolkit is communal. “The term like Indian strain or communalising Hindus. Singapore too has banned terms like Singapore strains," he said.
However, Justice Chandrachud reacted by stating that India is a democratic country.
“India is a democracy you know. Why should we issue directions under article 32. We will not entertain this," the Court said.
After that, the petitioner proceeded to withdraw his plea.
The petition also sought directions from the court to the Election Commission to de-register the Congress party if the allegations against it are shown to be accurate.
The petition further requested that the Central government provide instructions to each and every political party, group, and individual “to cease all types of anti-national hoardings."
The Congress had previously denied creating the disputed toolkit and accused the BJP of producing a “fake toolkit."
BJP leaders posted a document, claiming it was a toolkit prepared by the Congress party to smear the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to the Congress, its research arm created a toolkit on the Central Vista Project, which the BJP is misusing for propaganda.
On the basis of a complaint by a Congress leader, a case was also filed in Chhattisgarh against BJP leaders Raman Singh and Sambit Patra for spreading false information.
The Chhattisgarh High Court, on the other hand, had halted the FIR, claiming that the case was politically motivated.