Supreme Court pointed at EC to act immediately on hate speeches

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Supreme Court pointed at EC to act immediately on hate speeches

The Supreme Court on Monday nudged Election Commission (EC) to act promptly on complaints of hate speeches by politicians during the campaign for Lok Sabha election. SC bluntly told the poll bodies that they could not drag matters like this.

“You have to act very promptly….Get into the action immediately”, said chief justice Ranjan Gogoi. The judges were hearing the petition against the string of hate speeches made by political leaders that wanted the Supreme Court to look into it.

The two immediate examples provided before the judges were controversial speeches reported to have been made by BSP chief Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath a few days back.

The Supreme Court pointed that one notice issued to UP CM Yogi Adityanath had been closed while Mayawati had not bothered to respond to the poll panel’s notice issued to her on April 11.

In a rally in Saharanpur’s Deoband on April 7, Mayawati in her speech appealed to Muslims to vote for the alliance and not divide their vote by supporting other political parties. According to EC, two days after this rally, UP CM Yogi Adityanath told the rally about Mayawati’s speech and said: “if Congress, SP, and BSP have faith in ‘Ali’, we have faith in ‘Bajrang Bali’, the followers of Bajrang Bali will not tolerate them.”

The two prominent leaders were sent a notice by EC for their speeches widely seen as an attempt to communalize Lok Sabha elections. There is also SC order that prohibits political candidates asking for votes on communal lines.

By this weekend alone, there were around 75 complaints being lodged on EC’s website against leaders making speeches with content that is prohibited. When SC inquired from EC, the poll body underlined that it could only issue a notice, advisory, and at best lodge a police complaint against the leaders making hate speeches.