Has The Model Code of Conduct Violation by the Prime Minister Turned the Election Commission of India to a ‘Tareekh pe Tareekh’ Court?

  • The Prime Minister of India’s speech in Banswara, Rajasthan on 21st April 2024 elicited a complaint by the Opposition Parties for violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) filed duly with the Election Commission of India (ECI).
  • The ECI issued a notice on 25th April to BJP President, J.P. Nadda to file reply by 11 AM on 29th April.
  • The BJP reportedly sought one week’s time beyond 29th April to reply to the notice.
  • The urgent, crucial matter now stands to be taken up on 6th May by the ECI
  • By the time the MCC violation case comes up for hearing on 6th May or thereafter, campaigning for more than half the parliamentary seats would be over. Why did the ECI agree to give another week’s time for filing of reply? And there is no guarantee that further ‘adjournment’ on the matter would not be granted.
  • The PM appears to be a habitual violator of MCC since 2019, at least. A report by QUINT (27.04.2024) indicates that 27 cases of MCC violations have been filed by opposition parties against the PM for MCC violation since 2019. Except the notice in the instant case no action has been taken against the PM.
  • Recall the statement of the Chief Justice of India made last November to the effect that lawyers seek adjournment of the very same matters which were urgently listed on their request. The Chief Justice made it clear that he would not want the Supreme Court to be a Tareekh Pe Tareekh Court.
  • In the film ‘Damini’ (1993) the rape-survivor’s lawyer captured the lived-truth of litigants in the dialogue: “Tareekh Pe Tareekh, Tareekh Pe Tareekh, Tareekh Pe Tareekh milti gayi My Lord, Per Insaaf Nahi Mila”.
  • Over a period of five years the voters in India are up against a similar situation where MCC violations against the PM since the 2019 General Elections have elicited no action by the ECI, save the present case. Here, too the matter has got adjourned.
  • The ECI, a quasi-judicial body, has effectively got converted into a ‘Tareekh Pe Tareekh’ Court!

P.S. Sahni is a member of PIL Watch Group.

Blog; http://pilwatchgroup.blogspot.com/

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