March 10, 2021 9:37:37 am
The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the Election Commission’s decision to hold elections to the West Bengal Assembly in eight phases and urging it to bar the use of “Jai Shri Ram” as a campaign slogan in the state.
The petitioner, Advocate M L Sharma, referred to a 1978 judgment of the Supreme Court, but the court sought to know where it was stated in the verdict that the court can entertain a plea regarding electoral malpractice during campaigning once the poll process has started.
“You are asking for prosecution. How can we pass such an order,” asked the bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, adding that the only power in this regard lay with the High Court by way of an election petition.
The counsel had said that he was relying on a judgment of the SC and it was not a matter for an election petition. One party is using a religious slogan, he told the bench.
The court rejected the plea after the petitioner did not agree with its suggestion to approach the High Court.
The petition contended that the decision to hold the polls in eight phases was violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
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