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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently endorsed the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) ban on the use of military imagery or army achievements for political campaigns. As observed in an order passed by the First Bench of Chief Justice SK Seth and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla,
“Armed forces are apolitical and neutral stakeholder in the modern democracy. Defence Forces belong to everyone and are not appendage of any political outfit.”
The observation was made by the Court while dismissing a PIL filed to strike down the ECI’s Model Code of Conduct (MCC) mandate against using pictures of defence and military personnel by political parties in advertisements, posters and other campaign-related activities. Dr Mumtaj Ahmed Khan, an Associate Professor at a Jabalpur University, who claimed to be a member of the Aam Nagrik Mitra Foundation and Organization, had filed the PIL in his personal capacity.