The Supreme Court has expressed satisfaction over the Election Commission’s action against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP supremo Mayawati and others for allegedly making hate speeches during poll campaign.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also refused to consider the plea of Mayawati challenging the EC’s 48-hr ban on the leader and asked her counsel to file a separate appeal against the poll panel’s order.
Taking note of the EC action, the court said it seems the EC has “woken up” and barred various politicians from poll campaigning for varying hours.
The bench also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna made it clear that no further order was required for now. Following the SC rap for EC, the poll panel on Monday afternoon took action against Adityanath, Mayawati, Azam Khan and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an NRI Yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the EC to take “strict action” against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run up to general elections.
Earlier, it may be recalled that the Supreme Court took note of the alleged hate speeches made by BSP supremo Mayawati and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during poll campaign and sought to know from the Election Commission the action initiated against them so far.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC for Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel’s contention that it has limited legal power to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.
The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue notice, then advisory and finally lodge a complaint against an errant politician for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign.
“The EC says they are toothless. They say that they first issue notice, then advisory and then complain,” the bench said, adding it would examine the aspect relating to poll panel’s power to deal with hate speeches during poll campaign.