The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Election Commission of India to look into allegations levelled by Trinamool Congress legislator Mahua Moitra that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mahadev Sarkar made offensive and sexist remarks against her. Moitra had alleged that Sarkar made the comments in the presence of BJP candidate Kalyan Chaubey on April 22.
Moitra had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, Live Law reported. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna disposed off the plea, asking the poll panel to pass “necessary orders” in the matter forthwith.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing Moitra, said that less than 48 hours are left for campaigning in Krishna Nagar constituency, where the Trinamool Congress candidate is contesting, PTI reported. She urged the top court to pass urgent orders directing the poll panel to take action.
Jaising said that the Election Commission has not taken any action against Sarkar, who is the BJP’s Nadia district president. “The petitioner has a right to contest the elections to the Lok Sabha in a manner which advances democracy and in a free and fair manner,” she added. “She has a right under Article 21 of the Constitution to be free from sexual harassment and sexist remarks during the process of elections...and is entitled to the protection of law.”
Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and the results will be announced on May 23. West Bengal is voting in all seven phases, and polling will be held in the Krishna Nagar constituency on April 29.