The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea challenging the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to conduct the West Bengal Assembly polls over eight phases. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde rejected the plea, which had also sought to bar the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders from using the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan during the poll campaign in the state.
The bench initially told advocate M L Sharma, the petitioner, to approach the Calcutta High Court. “I rely upon a judgment. This is not a matter of an election petition. One party is using a religious slogan. Why should I go to the high court,” Sharma told the bench, which also comprised justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
When the petitioner said the matter be kept for hearing on Wednesday, the bench said, “Alright, we do not agree with you. Dismissed.” The plea had sought the apex court’s direction to prevent the EC from conducting eight-phase polls in West Bengal, alleging that it violates Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.