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SC refuses to consider Mayawati's plea against EC order

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Tuesday refused to consider BSP Mayawati's challenging the EC's 48-hr campaign ban on her and expressed satisfaction over the poll body's action against leaders making hate speeches.

A bench headed by asked Mayawati's to file a separate appeal against the poll panel's order.

Taking note of the action, the court said it seems the poll body has "woken up" and barred various from poll campaigning for varying hours.

The bench also comprising Justice made it clear that no further order was required for now.

The on Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on Adityanath for 72 hours and on Maneka and for 48 hours from Tuesday for their "provocative" communal remarks, which it said had the "propensity to polarise the elections".

A 72-hour campaign ban has also been imposed on Samajwadi Party's for his alleged "khaki underwear" jibe against Jaya Prada, who is his rival BJP candidate in Rampur seat.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an based in in the (UAE), seeking a direction to the to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run up to

The all-ban on all four leaders -- two from the ruling BJP and two from opposition parties -- came into force from 6 am Tuesday.

While Adityanath, and were found guilty of violating the model code, the said Khan not only violated the poll code, he also disregarded its November 2013 directive asking to desist from "deeds or actions construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women".

For the first time a pan-ban has been imposed on politicians, while any restriction on a is unprecedented.

alleged the order has been passed "under pressure" and it would be remembered as a "black day" in the EC's history. She has faced action for appealing to Muslims to not vote for the to avoid their anti-BJP votes getting divided.

Her alliance asked the EC whether it is capable to issue similar directives to the to stop him from asking for votes in name of the

The EC order to and Mayawati came soon after the asked the poll watchdog about the action it has initiated against them.

The apex court had on Monday expressed displeasure over the not taking quick action against for communal and hate speeches during the campaigning and decided to examine the ambit of its power following submission that it was "toothless".

The bench had taken the cases of alleged communal speeches of Mayawati and Adityanath and asked the EC about the action taken so far against them while deciding to examine the statutory powers of poll panel to deal with the violation of model code of conduct (MCC).

The EC's had said: "The power of the EC in this behalf is very limited. We can issue notice and seek reply but we cannot de-recognise a party or disqualify a candidate...we can only issue advisories and in case of a repeat offence, register a complaint."

Reacting sharply, the bench had said, "So you are basically saying you are toothless and powerless against hate speeches."

It had then said that besides sending a notice, an advisory and a criminal case can be filed only against such leader.

"It is stated by the appearing for the EC that the power of the ECI for violation of the Model Code of Conduct by making hate speeches on grounds of religion, caste etc is circumscribed to issuing of notice and upon consideration of the reply to issue advisories.

"Only in case of repeated violation of the advisories, the EC has the power to file an FIR with the Police for initiation of criminal proceedings," the bench had noted in the order.

The apex court, on April 8, had issued notice to the Centre and the poll panel on the PIL seeking direction to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on castes and religions in the media in the run up to

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

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 12:15 IST