The Supreme Court today asked the ECI to explain its silence on the Congress’s complaints against alleged hate speeches and misuse of the armed forces as political propaganda by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi gave the Commission time till May 2 to file its response. However, it allowed the ECI to pass whatever “appropriate orders” on the pending complaints.
The petition alleged that lack of action by the ECI against Mr Modi and Mr Shah was a “tacit endorsement” of their statements and clean chit to the individuals.
“Inaction on the part of the ECI is a sign of invidious discrimination and is arbitrary, capricious and impermissible… certain selected very powerful individuals have been permitted to gain an unfair electoral advantage by their material infractions of the RP Act, Election Rules and the MCC,” it said. Such brazen violations were neither minor nor procedural, in any manner.
The petition said, “The inactions, omissions and commissions by the Respondent/ECI are in complete and direct violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and which are impending free, fair and unbiased General Elections, 2019.”