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SC refuses to hear Cong MP's plea for action against PM, Shah for poll code violations

twitter-logoPTI | May 8, 2019 | Updated 18:13 IST

(Eds: Adds details from proceedings) New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to further hear the plea of Congress MP Sushmita Dev seeking action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for alleged poll code violations, saying the Election Commission has already decided the complaints. The apex court said it cannot examine the merits of the EC orders, giving clean chits to the BJP leaders, as they gave rise to fresh cause of action for which another petition has to be filed. Since the EC has decided "rightly" or "wrongly" the pending complaints against the Prime Minister and the BJP President, the merits of the orders can be challenged only by filing a fresh petition, said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta. "The petition has become infructuous as the Election Commission has taken decisions on the complaints," the bench said. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Dev, said the additional affidavit has been filed as the apex court had asked her to bring on record EC's orders giving clean chit to Modi and Shah on complaints of MCC violations over their alleged hate speeches and using armed forces for "political propaganda". Referring to various judgements, he said that the EC, being a constitutional body, is obliged to pass reasoned orders. But unreasoned orders, summarily rejecting the complaints, have been passed. "Dr Singhvi, you challenge the orders (of EC). Instead of filing the affidavit, you should have filed the petition. In half a day, you can file a fresh petition and that is the choice you have," the bench said while refusing to hear Dev's plea further. The plea had said: "Since March 10, that is the date on which General Elections, were notified, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, specifically in sensitive areas and states, have ex-facie violated the provisions of the Representation of People's Act and the Conduct of Election Rules and the process, thereof," the plea claimed. "It is in public domain that they have indulged in hate speeches, repeatedly used the armed forces for political propaganda, despite a clear prohibition on the same by the EC." Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the poll panel, vehemently objected to Dev's submissions and said that the Congress MP filed a PIL with a "limited prayer" that the complaints of poll code violations against the leaders be decided expeditiously and this has already been done. "The PIL petitioner (Dev) sought a direction to the EC for expeditious disposal of the representation. It has been done. Now nothing remains in the petition," he said. Moreover, the complaints were filed by Congress leader Randeep Singh Surejawala and he is not before the court and rather Dev has filed the PIL, he said. Seeking disposal of the plea, he said Dev, in additional affidavit, has brought other facts which are political in nature without filing any application to amend the petition and moreover, she has not challenged the EC's orders. The bench then disposed of the plea of Dev, Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam as also President of All India Mahila Congress, and asked her to file a fresh one if advised so. The Congress leader had also raised the issue of PM terming former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as "brashtachari no.1" in an election speech. The EC has given clean chit to Modi and Shah on complaints of MCC violations. PTI SJK ABA MNL RKS SA

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