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SC satisfied over EC's action against politicians for hate speeches during campaigning

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Tuesday expressed satisfaction over swift action taken by the against various politicians, including and BSP supremo Mayawati, for their alleged communal speeches during campaigning saying the poll panel has now "woken up to its powers".

The apex court refused Mayawati's plea challenging the on Monday banning her from campaigning for 48 hours.

A day after found itself "toothless" against hate speeches, which had invited the ire of the top court, the poll panel told a bench headed by that it has barred Adiytanath, Mayawati, and from campaigning for varying hours.

The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna, refused to consider Mayawati's plea challenging the EC's 48-hour campaign ban on her on the ground that it has been inflicted on her without being granted an opportunity to put forth her views.

"File a Special Leave Petition or an appeal if you want. We are not commenting on anything now," the bench told Dushyant Dave, representing the BSP supremo.

The has acted because of the apex court's order and the ban is "extremely drastic" in view of the fact that she has not been heard and, moreover, she has prior scheduled public meetings, Dave said.

The bench, which had summoned an for Tuesday to examine the ambit of the poll panel's to deal with hate speeches, said, "It seems you have got your powers. It seems you have woken up to your powers".

C A Sundaram, appearing for the EC, said, "We have found we have several powers" and listed out the action taken by the poll panel against some politicians.

"Pursuant to the order passed yesterday, the of has taken action and the appropriate details of which have been submitted. No further order is called for today," the bench said, adding that the petitioner may mention the plea in future if the need arises.

The EC Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on Adityanath for 72 hours and on 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 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 Gandhi were found guilty of violating the model code, the EC said Khan not only violated the poll code, he also disregarded its November 2013 directive asking politicians to desist from "deeds or actions construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women".

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an based in in the (UAE), seeking a direction to the EC 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 apex court on Monday expressed displeasure over the EC not taking quick action against politicians for communal and hate speeches during the campaigning and decided to examine the ambit of its power following submission that it was "toothless".

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 caste and religion 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. 17:00 IST