Lok Sabha Election 2019

Kamal Haasan comment: Delhi HC says ‘no’ to plea for a direction to ECI

Kamal Haasan.

Kamal Haasan.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

On May 13, the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief said, ‘The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a petition seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to deregister political parties that misuse religion, race, caste, community and language for electoral gain.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Jyoti Singh said “no cause of action was made out in Delhi.”

BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s petition pointed out that at an election rally on May 13 in support of his party candidate in the Aravakurichi Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu, where bypoll is to be held on Sunday, Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan said, ‘The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse’.

The Bench asked Mr. Upadhyay why he did not approach the Madras High Court in whose jurisdiction the statement was made. It, however, allowed him to approach an appropriate forum if he chooses to.

Mr. Upadhyay claimed that Mr, Haasan made the statement “deliberately in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain, which is clearly a corrupt practice under Section 123(3) the Representation of the People Act 1951”.

He said that as per the Model Code of Conduct, no party or candidate could indulge in any activity that may aggravate the existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tensions between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.

“Hence, Mr. Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to Section 123(3) of the RPA 1951,” the plea stated.

“Mr. Haasan is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under Section 153A of the IPC [Indian Penal Code],” it claimed.

Mr. Upadhyay asked the court to direct the ECI to refer the complaints relating to misuse of religion, race, caste, community and language by contesting candidates and political office-bearers to the respective investigatinG agencies.

He also sought a direction to the Central government to take appropriate steps to restrict the misuse of religion, race, caste, community and language by contesting candidates and political office-bearers for electoral gain.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 6:30:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/kamal-haasan-comment-delhi-hc-says-no-to-plea-for-a-direction-to-eci/article27135223.ece

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