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1-min read

Can't Go Into Merits of EC’s Clean Chits to Modi and Shah, Says SC, Dismisses Congress Plea

Since the poll panel has decided on the complaints now, the Supreme court said the plea has become infructuous and asked her to file a fresh petition.

News18.com

Updated:May 8, 2019, 1:45 PM IST
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Can't Go Into Merits of EC’s Clean Chits to Modi and Shah, Says SC, Dismisses Congress Plea
File photos of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. (PTI)

New Delhi: Asserting that it cannot go into the merits the clean chits given by the Election Commission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea moved by Congress MP Sushmita Dev.

This, the top court said, was because the petition filed by Dev was against the inaction of the EC in dealing with the complaints of alleged violations of Model Code of Conduct by Modi and Shah in their election speeches.

Since the poll panel has decided on the complaints now, the court said the plea has become infructuous and asked her to file a fresh petition.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the counsel appearing for Dev, also raised the issue of Modi terming late Rajiv Gandhi "brashtachari no.1" in an election speech. However, the court said it would not examine this as the scope of the plea cannot be examined.

The Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission last week to decide all complaints against Modi. The poll panel has given clean chits to Modi, as well as Amit Shah, in all the cases so far.

It has disposed of nine complaints against the PM, the latest being over his statement against former PM Rajiv Gandhi that triggered a political storm. "Prima facie, we did not figure out any literal violation of MCC as given in Election Commission of India instructions. The case is therefore disposed of," the EC said on Tuesday evening.

However, it has faced some criticism over the lack of transparency in how it handled the complaints as it did not reveal that the decision in at least four cases was not unanimous. Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa had dissented in three decisions – three against Modi and one against Shah.

On Tuesday, the Congress lawmaker had filed an additional affidavit in her petition, alleging that EC had not applied its mind properly in the complaints, and that the orders were passed belatedly in order to give undue edge to the BJP. It also complained that the Election Commission's clean chits were "arbitrary and opaque".

The ECI is also adopting double standards, as it has acted against similar comments made by other leaders, while letting off Modi and Shah, she had added.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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