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Plea against political parties using religion in their symbols: SC notice to ECI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court docket on Monday issued a discover on a plea searching for a route to the Election Fee of India (ECI) to cancel the image and identify allotted to political events that are utilizing faith or carrying non secular connotations of their symbols.

The plea filed by Syed Waseem Rizwi, by advocate Abhikalp Pratap Singh, mentioned the petition offers with the mandate of Illustration of People’s Act (RPA) 1951 and the Structure and the way constitutional values ​​are half and parcel of RPA and could be witnessed underneath sections 29A, 123 (3), and 123 (3A) of the Act.

The plea submitted that utilizing faith to lure voters is strictly prohibited underneath part 123 of RPA citing the secular values ​​of the Structure.

Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, representing the petitioner, submitted earlier than a bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari that two events that are acknowledged state events have the phrase “Muslim” of their identify, and a few events have crescent moon and stars of their official flags and questioned, can political events have a spiritual connotation of their identify?

Bhatia mentioned for instance Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the get together have MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and MLAs in Kerala. He added, “This violates the Model Code of Conduct. We need to see, can we pollute the politics?”

Counting on apex court docket judgment in SR Bommai vs Union of India, Bhatia submitted that it was held by this court docket that secularism is a part of the essential characteristic.

The bench, citing Section 123 of RPA, queried whether or not the bar will apply to political events, because the part refers to a candidate. Bhatia submitted that if a candidate of a celebration with a spiritual identify seeks votes, that candidate shall be violating RPA and secularism.

After listening to arguments within the matter, the bench issued discover to ECI and secretary, Ministry of Legislation and Justice, returnable on October 18, and requested the petitioner’s counsel to implead involved political events within the matter.

“The people must vote on the basis of anything except religion. If a candidate is elected on the basis of religious symbol/ name, then the whole purpose of enacting sub-clause (3) of Section 123 of RPA would cease to exist”, mentioned the plea.

Citing apex court docket’s judgments, the plea mentioned the highest court docket has given utmost significance to secularism and its influence on the social cloth of the nation. “Therefore, by allowing the usage of religious symbols/ names by the political parties, the Election Commission of India is defying the mandate of the Constitution,” added the plea.

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