The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking to disqualify Prime Minister Narendra Modi for six years for seeking votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party allegedly in the name of religion, Live Law reported.

The petitioner, Advocate Anand S Jondhale, had cited a speech by Modi on April 9 in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“During his speech, Modi had appealed to the voters to vote for his party in the name of Hindu deities and Hindu places of worship as well as Sikh deities and Sikh places of worship,” the petitioner had contended.

The plea said that Modi also made comments against Opposition parties alluding that they favour Muslims. In his complaint to the Election Commission, Jondhale had said that Modi took credit for constructing the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, developing the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and bringing back copies of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, from Afghanistan.

The petitioner had sought directions to disqualify Modi from contesting elections for six years under the Representation of People Act. However, the poll body took no action.

The Model Code of Conduct, under which elections are held in India, states: “No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.”

On Monday, Justice Sachin Datta dismissed the plea saying that it was “thoroughly misconceived” for multiple reasons.

“Firstly, once the petitioner has submitted his complaint dated April 10, 2024, to the ECI [Election Commission of India] there is no occasion for the petitioner to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court, even prior to disposal of the said complaint by the ECI,” The Indian Express quoted the court as saying.

The court also said that Jondhale’s plea “presupposes that there had been a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and compendium of instructions” which is completely “unjustified”.

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