The Supreme Court has expressed displeasure over the Election Commission for not taking action against politicians for communal and hate speeches during the Lok Sabha campaigning.The court has decided to examine the ambit of poll panel’s power on the violation of model code of conduct.
The court was hearing a plea seeking an order from the court that the Election Commission must ensure no political leader is allowed to seek votes on the grounds of caste,race and religion which is a violation of Model code of conduct,
The Election Commission has informed the court that its powers in cases of violation of the model code of conduct are limited to issuing notice and upon consideration of the reply to issue advisories and in case of a repeated offence the EC can register a police complaint.
In 2017,the Supreme Court had held that an appeal for votes during elections on the basis of religion,caste,race,community or language will amount to a corrupt practice and had called for disqualification of the candidate.
The apex court was interpreting the pronoun ‘his’ used in Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act.The provision mandates that it would amount to a corrupt practice if a candidate or his agent or any other person,with his consent,appeals for votes on religious or such grounds.
Model code of Conduct (MCC) are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.The MCC comes into force immediately on the announcement of the election schedule by the commission.