Congress MP Sushmita Dev on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Election Commission, which has exonerated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of several poll code violations, has “failed to appreciate” that the alleged “hate speeches” are corrupt practices that “promote enmity and disharmony on religious grounds”, Bar and Bench reported.
Dev filed an additional affidavit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. She also alleged that the Election Commission was discriminatory. The top court will on Wednesday hear Dev’s plea challenging the Election Commission’s decision to clear Modi and Shah of any Model Code of Conduct violations. She had alleged that the two were indulging in hate speech and repeatedly using the armed forces for “political propaganda”.
In the affidavit filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes on Tuesday, Dev claimed that the poll panel passed several orders clearing Modi and Shah of the allegations in a cryptic manner and alleged that it was done so in violation of the Supreme Court’s order. Dev’s petition told the court that the poll panel had initiated action against several politicians such as Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Pragya Singh Thakur, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for “statements which were similar in tone, tenor, meaning, purport and intention to Shri Modi and Shri Amit Shah’s statements mentioned herein”.
The MP told the court that the Election Commission has failed to acknowledge that Modi and Shah’s speeches are a violation of the law and are punishable under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Dev also claimed that the poll panel has not declared that one of its commissioners had dissented against its order, indicating a “lack of transparency and arbitrariness in the decision-making process”.
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Sushmita Dev, the All India Mahila Congress president, had moved the petition on April 29 seeking expeditious action by the poll panel. She alleged that Modi and Shah had indulged in hate speech and had repeatedly used the armed forces for “political propaganda”. The next day, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Election Commission on the petition. On May 2, it had directed the poll panel to decide on all the complaints by May 6.
The Election Commission has cleared Modi and Amit Shah of several allegations of Model Code of Conduct violations since the election process began. On May 6, the Congress challenged in the Supreme Court the Election Commission’s decision to clear Modi and Shah of several violations and claimed that several others who had used “identical words” were stopped. The court then asked Dev to place on record the Election Commission’s orders and said it will hear the case on Wednesday.