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Breaking: SC issues notice to Election Commission in PIL seeking action against speeches on caste and communal lines
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Breaking: SC issues notice to Election Commission in PIL seeking action against speeches on caste and communal lines

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Election Commission of India in a petition seeking action against political party representatives and spokespersons who make speeches or remarks on religious or caste lines.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the Election Commission in a petition filed by an NRI from Sharjah, Harpreet Mansukhani.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde appeared for the petitioner.

The petition states that Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act, which enlists “corrupt practices”, does not specifically include speeches made on caste and communal lines. Therefore, it is stated, the provision does not have the potential to ensure a corruption-free election process.

It is also contended that spokespersons and representatives of political parties who are not contesting the elections often make speeches on caste and communal on TV programmes, and get away with it.

The petition states,

“The concept of Secular Democracy promised under the Indian Constitution for purity of elections is mandatory in order for a Democracy to thrive and succeed. It is a must for the Election and other legislative bodies to be kept free from unhealthy corrupt practices and unhealthy appeals of influence of appeals to religion race, caste, community or language. that could have devastating effect on a country and its constitution.”

Among the prayers sought in the petition are:

  • A direction to constitute a Committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge to have a close watch on the election process and to check the fairness/fastness of the EC
  • Direction to the EC to take strict action against political parties if their spokespersons or representatives make speeches in the media that pertain to caste or religion
  • Issue writ of mandamus to EC to take strict action against media houses who use caste ore religious lines for their debate shows
  • Direction to the EC to submit a report on the measures adopted to conduct corruption-free elections.

Read the petition and order below. 

WRIT-PIL-.pdf
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Harpreet-Mansukhani-v-Election-Commission.pdf
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