SC to examine EC’s `toothless‘ powers

As the Election Commission has expressed its helplessness to act against political leaders `hate  speeches’ violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) admitting that it was “toothless” and “powerless” with regard to hate speeches made during the election campaign, the Supreme Court today decided to examine the same.

The court has decided to take up the matter at 10.30 a.m, tomorrow, saying it wants to examine the scope of powers of the Election Commission. Speeches by BSP chief Mayawati, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and others were cited as violations of the MCC.

The Election Commission told the court that it can merely issue notice, then an advisory and lodge a criminal complaint in the case of repeated violations. When the SC asked on action taken against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adigyanath for his comments of `Modi Sena’, the poll panel simply said the case was closed.

The counsel for the poll body said it was “toothless” and “powerless” against hate and religious speeches made during the election campaign. The apex court said then it was appropriate to examine the scope of powers of the poll panel which is also a constitutional body.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked: “What do you propose to do?”. The EC counsel replied that it does not have the power to de-recognise or disqualify the person and it can only send advisories. And if the candidate continues to violate the MCC, then it can file a complaint. The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission official to be present in court tomorrow.

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