Current AffairsIndia

Supreme Court rejects plea challenging Election Commission’s decision to hold polls in 8 phases

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold Assembly elections in the State of West Bengal in eight phases (Manohar Lal Sharma v. Election Commission of India).

A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed a petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

“We don’t agree with you. We have read the whole case, dismissed,” the Bench said.

Sharma, in his petition, had pointed out that while the elections scheduled around the same time in two other States, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and one Union Territory, Puducherry are being held in a single phase, the elections in another State, Assam is slated to be held in 3 phases.

Thus, holding elections for West Bengal alone in 8 phases, Sharma claimed, is a violation of right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.

“There is no law has been framed yet empowering the election commission to adopt an unequal treatment of election among the 5 states as per their whim. Conducting election in 8 phases while other states in 1 phase Especially when West Bengal has not facing any terrorist attack or under disputed war zone. It’s a clear case of violation of Art 14 of the Constitution of India,” the plea said.

Sharma in his petition also objected to the use of the religious slogan “Jai Shri Ram” by BJP leaders Amit Shah and Shubhendu Adhikari during the campaign.

He submitted that the same amounted to a violation of Sections 123 and 125 of the Representation of People Act (RP Act).

He, therefore, sought action against Shah and Adhikari for using the slogan in violation of RP Act and Indian Penal Code.

“Secularism is an unalterable basic structure of the Constitution. Using religious provocative slogan “Jai Shri Ram” has been creating communal disharmony and hatred among citizens of India,” the plea said.

Via Bar & Bench
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