Not toothless anymore? “We found we have powers”, Election Commission to SC

Not toothless anymore? “We found we have powers”, Election Commission to SC

Murali Krishnan

A day after it questioned the functioning of the Election Commission of India, the Supreme Court today took note of the orders passed by the body against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath.

The Court thus observed that the Election Commission seems to have got back its powers.

In a petition seeking directions to the Election Commission to take action against political leaders making appeals for votes on the basis of religion and caste, a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna observed,

“You seem to have got your powers back.”

“We found we have powers”, replied Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram, appearing for Election Commission.

The Court recorded in its order that no further orders need to be passed at this stage.

It, however, kept the petition pending, while giving liberty to the petitioner’s counsel Sanjay Hegde to approach the Court in case of future infractions.

The Court had pulled up the Election Commission yesterday for not acting against political hate speeches.

The EC on its part had submitted that its powers were limited and it could not disqualify candidates.

The Commission did, however,  pass orders temporarily barring incumbent Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the BSP’s Mayawati from campaigning for the 2019 general elections on finding them guilty of having made polarising, communal speeches in violation fo the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Meanwhile, Mayawati tried to intervene in the matter today, challenging the EC order against her.

The Court, however, declined to hear her, remarking that she is free to file an appeal against the EC order.

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