Election Commission has finally woken up to its power: Supreme Court on campaign ban on politicians

File photo of the Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2019, 11.23 AM (IST)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took note of the action taken by Election Commission against politicians who made statements violating model code of conduct. "It seems the Election Commission has finally woken up to its power and taken action against politicians," it said.

The court made the observation while hearing Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati's plea against ban imposed by the Election Commission on addressing public rallies for 48 hours. The top court refused to entertain Mayawati's plea saying there is no further action required.

The Election Commission had on Monday temporarily banned Mayawati, along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and Union minister and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi from campaigning. While Yogi Adityanath and Azam Khan had been banned for 72 hours, Mayawati and Maneka Gandhi was barred from holding rallies for 48 hours.

The commission took the action against the political leaders for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches.

The action by Election Commission came after the Supreme Court took note of the alleged hate speeches during poll campaign and sought to know from the poll panel the action initiated against them so far. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the Election Commission on Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel's contention that it has the limited legal power to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.

Mayawati was issued the notice for her speech in Deoband appealing to Muslims to not vote for a particular party. The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found. Adityanath was served the notice for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut.

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The commission took the action against the politicians for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches.