Supreme Court declined to entertain a plea seeking to disqualify PM Narendra Modi for 6 years from elections for allegedly making ‘hate speeches’

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On May 14, 2024 (Tuesday), the Supreme Court (SC) declined to entertain a plea seeking to disqualify Prime Minister Narendra Modi from elections for allegedly making ‘hate speeches’ in campaigns. The plea was filed by one Fatima, through Advocate Anand S Jondhale, seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to disqualify PM Modi for 6 years from elections for making hate speeches and violating the Model Code of Conduct. The SC bench constituting Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma asked the petitioner to approach the authorities for the redressal of the grievance. It said, “Have you approached authorities? For writ of mandamus, you must approach the authorities first.” During the proceedings, Justice Nath told the counsel appearing for the petitioner that such a plea directly before the SC under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution could not be entertained. He said “You must approach authority. If you want to withdraw, we will permit.” The petitioner agreed to withdraw but sought liberty to approach ECI whereas the SC bench disagreed to grant liberty to approach the ECI and said “Why should we? That’s your job, your problem.” Therefore, the petition was dismissed as withdrawn without granting any liberty. 

The plea filed before the SC alleged that PM Narendra Modi “not only sought votes in the name of Hindu and Sikh deities and their places of worship but also made comments against opposite political parties as favoring Muslims.” The petitioner, in its plea, claimed that PM Modi, while addressing a public rally at Banswara, Rajasthan, made statement aimed at creating enmity between groups. The plea reads “...the statement made by the Respondent No.2 are not only inflammatory but illegal and promoting ill feeling amongst communities. Respondent No.2 referring to mangalsutra is clearly referring to the Hindu Community. Respondent No.2 referred to Ghuspaithiye meaning intruder and jinke jyada bachche hain, meaning he is clearly speaking in reference to the Muslim community. The Petitioner is submitting the details of the speech of Respondent No.2 at Rajasthan's Banswara on 21.04.2024 which is available on the Youtube Page of Shri Narendra Modi…statements of the Respondent No. 2 creating hatred by words, either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial language or regional groups or castes or communities.”

After hearing the matter, the two-judge bench of the SC refused to entertain a petition seeking disqualification of PM Modi from elections. Also, the top Court dismissed a petition seeking directions to the ECI to act against PM and Union Minister Anurag Thakur for alleged hate speeches during the election campaigns.