Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea seeking 6-year disqualification of PM Modi

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Various organizations of this country as well as individuals have filed the complaints with ECI since last 30 days but till today it has failed to take any effective action against PM Modi, the petition submitted

The Supreme Court of India today refused to entertain a writ petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from elections under Representation of People Act.

A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and SC Sharma asked the petitioner if they had moved the concerned authorities.

The plea filed by one Fatima also seeks a direction to ECI to take action against the PM as per the Model Code of Conduct, mentioned in the Compendium of Instruction Volume-III under Rules-General Conduct (1 and 3) immediately.

Filed through AOR Sunil Kumar Agarwal and drawn by Advocate Anand S Jodhale, states that on April 21, 2024, the BJP leader as a part of election campaign for Lok Sabha Election 2024, addressed a public rally of electors at Banswara, Rajasthan wherein he made a speech saying,

"Aur phele jab unki Sarkar thi unhone kaha tha ki Sampati par pehla adhikar Musalmaano ka hain. Isska matlab, yeh sampati khatti karket kiskon baatengay? Jinke zyaada bache hain unko baatengay. Ghupathisyon ko baatengay. Kya aapki mehnat ki kamai ka paisa Ghuspathiyon ko diya jaayega? Apko manzoor hain yeh? Yeh Congress ka manifesto keh raha hain ki who Maata aur Behno ke son ka hisaab karengay, usski jardi karengay, jaankari lengay aur phir uss sampati ko baat dengay. Aur uno baatengay jinko Manmohan Ji ki Sarkar ne kaaha tha ki sampatti par pehla adhikar Musalmaano ka hain. Bhaiyon aur Beheno yeh Urban naxal ki soch, meri maataon aur behno, yeh aapka mangalsutra bhi bachne nahin deengay yaahan tak jaayengay main kehne aaya hoon."

Court has been told that PM had given a similar speech on April 9, 2024 at Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh where he stated that he has built Hindu Temple and appealed to the voters to vote for his Party in the name of Hindu deities and Hindu place of worships as well as Sikh deities and Sikh place of worship.

"...Respondent No.2 has violated the Model Code of Conduct mentioned in Compendium of Instructions, Volume-III, under Rules “General Conduct-I(1) and (3)”, which states that no Party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes or communities, religious or linguistic. It further says that there shall be no appeal to caste or community feelings for securing votes. Mosque, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda....", the petition reads.

Notably, an April 29, the Delhi High Court had rejected a similar plea filed by Advocate Jondhale emphasizing that the petition was based on a fundamental misunderstanding, as it was beyond the bench's authority to instruct the Election Commission to adopt a specific stance.

A single judge bench of Justice Sachin Dutta had noted therein, 'The petitioner presupposes that there was a violation. However, the court cannot direct ECI to take a particular view'. Justice Dutta further acknowledged the Election Commission's stance that the plea will be examined per the representation made by Advocate Jondhale.  

Advocate Jondhale had argued that PM Modi's statements violated election conduct regulations, which prohibit actions that exacerbate existing divisions or provoke tensions between religious or linguistic communities. Additionally, he argued the use of religious sites for political purposes was prohibited. Jondhale contended that PM Modi's behavior constituted an offense under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code and warranted disqualification under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Case Title: Fatima vs. ECI and Anr