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PIL in HC against misuse of religion for electoral gain, refers to Haasan's remark

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The controversial remarks of actor-cum-politician that Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram was a 'Hindu terrorist' were mentioned in a PIL before the Tuesday seeking directions for the to "restrict" misuse of religion for poll gains.

The petition was mentioned before a bench of and Justice A J Bhambhani by who has also sought debarring of candidates and deregistration of parties which misuse religion for electoral gain.

The bench allowed the plea to be listed for hearing on Wednesday before an appropriate bench.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, alleged that Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain.

The petition contends that this was "clearly a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951.

Haasan, the of Makkal Needhi Maiam, had in an election rally speech termed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram as independent India's first "Hindu terrorist".

He had made the comment while speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in constituency, where by-polls will be held on May 19, the petition said.

"As per Code of Conduct, no party or candidate can indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. Similarly, there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.

"Haasan has violated the Code of Conduct in addition to section 123(3) of the RPA 1951. is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under section 153A of the IPC. It is a deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus, which is an offence under section 295A IPC," the petition claimed.

It also said that despite the alleged misuse of religion for electoral gain by Haasan, the has not done any thing in this regard yet.

In his plea, Upadhyay also seeks a direction to to refer to respective investigation agencies the complaints relating to misuse of religion, race, caste, community and language by contesting candidates and political office bearers for electoral gain.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 17:41 IST