In an interim relief to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the hearing of a petition filed by Congress leader Sushmita Dev against the duo for violating the Model Code of Conduct. The top court will next hear the matter on May 2. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court asked the petitioner to wait for the Election Commission's decision on the matter.
In her petition, Congress leader Sushmita Dev alleged that during their elections rallies, Modi and Shah made hate speeches and indulged in political propaganda in the name of defence forces. She had moved the top court after the Election Commission failed to take any action against the BJP leaders.
Following the criticism from the opposition parties, the Election Commission had said that it will take a decision on cimplaints of model code violations by the prime minister and the BJP chief on Tuesday. Deputy election commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar said Monday that the 'full commission' would meet Tuesday morning and decide on the complaints.
"The secretariat has processed everything and place the details before the Commission," he said. The Commission meets every Tuesday and Thursday to discuss important issues. The poll panel is also likely to discuss the possible dates for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections on Tuesday.
The state elections could not be held along with Lok Sabha polls as the Union Home Ministry had cited law and order problems in holding simultaneous election. In wake of the EC decision, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the plea and deferred the hearing till next Friday.
Responding to questions on delay on the part of the EC in taking a decision, Saxena said a "comprehensive view" is required for which legal, model code and expenditure divisions are involved.
Addressing a rally in Latur's Ausa in Maharashtra on April 9, Modi had urged young voters to cast ballots in the name of heroes of the Balakot air strike and martyrs of Pulwama attack. According to reports, local poll authorities observed that the remarks of Modi were prima facie violative of its orders, asking parties against using the armed forces in their campaigns.
A decision on Shah's reported remarks on 'Modi ji ki vayu sena' made in West Bengal on Monday will also be taken on Tuesday. The EC had sought reports on Modi and Shah in the context of its advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces.
(With inputs from PTI)