The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party challenging a Calcutta High Court order that restricted it from publishing derogatory advertisements about the Trinamool Congress during the Lok Sabha polls, reported Live Law.

A bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and KV Viswanathan noted that the advertisements published by BJP amid the Lok Sabha elections were prima facie disparaging. The BJP had contended in its plea that the advertisements were based on facts.

“You can say you are the best, but we do not want to lend our hands to promote further acrimony,” said Viswanathan. “This is not in the interests of the voter. Your rival is not your enemy.”

The Supreme Court allowed the BJP to withdraw the plea and contest the case before a single-judge bench of the High Court, reported Bar and Bench.

In a petition before the Calcutta High Court, the Trinamool Congress had sought an injunction against the BJP for several advertisements it had published in newspapers targeting the ruling party in West Bengal.

One of the advertisements by the BJP, according to the Trinamool Congress, labelled it as “Sanatan Virodhi Trinamool [anti-Sanatan Trinamool]”. Sanatana Dharma is a term some people use as a synonym for Hinduism.

The Trinamool Congress argued that the BJP’s advertisements had violated the Model Code of Conduct, which prohibits any political advertising on the lines of caste and religion, even under the guise of news articles.

The code is a set of guidelines issued by the poll panel that political parties and governments have to follow during an election.

On May 20, the High Court restrained the BJP from publishing such advertisements till June 4, when the results of the Lok Sabha polls will be declared. The court noted that the BJP’s advertisements targeting the Trinamool Congress had also been published within 48 period of silence that the code imposes in a region before it goes to the polls.

Parties and candidates are not allowed to campaign or publish any advertisements in this time.

A day later, the BJP filed an appeal against the High Court’s judgement before a division bench, stating that the single-judge bench on May 20 did not hear it before passing the order.

The division bench on May 22 refused to interfere with the single-judge bench order.

On May 23, the BJP approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing in the matter.

The High Court, had also reprimanded the Election Commission for its inaction noting that the BJP’s advertisements also violated guidelines of the Press Council of India.

“The ECI [Election Commission of India] has grossly failed to address the complaints of the TMC in due time,” the court said. “This court is surprised that resolution of the complaints after the conclusion of elections is nothing to the court and as such in due failure on part of the ECI in due time this court is constrained to pass an injunction order.”

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