NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a Public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to be given to Election commission and Central government to take appropriate steps by de-registering political parties and referring them to investigation agencies for misusing the religion, race, caste, community and language for electoral gains.
The petition had been filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay independently who alleged that on 13 May at an election rally in Tamil Nadu the President of the Makkal Needhi Maiam Mr. Kamal Haasan said that,“The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse."
Upadhyay, had also filed an urgent hearing application along with his petition before the Delhi High Court. Upadhyay argued that a representation to Election Commission was made on May 13 but the EC has not passed any order with respect to it.
Advocate PR Chopra, appearing for Election Commission stated that the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case as the statement was made in Tamil Nadu and First Information Report (FIR) has already been lodged there. Chopra told the court that the representation was made only on May 13 and the Commission will need time to look into it.
"The cause of action has not arisen within the jurisdiction of this court. We find no grounds to entertain the petition," said the bench comprising of Delhi High Court Justices G S Sistani and Jyoti Singh post hearing the submissions made by both the parties.
The court subsequently asked the EC to expeditiously decide Upadhyay's representation against Haasan's remark and dismissed the petition which had also sought debarring of candidates that "misuse" religion for electoral gains. Upadhyay, had alleged that Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain.
The petition contended that this was clearly a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951 and against the Model code of conduct of the Election Commission.
Haasan, the president of Makkal Needhi Maiam, had in an election rally speech for his party candidate on Sunday termed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as independent India's first "Hindu terrorist". He had made the comment while speaking at an election rally on Sunday for his party candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency, whereby-polls will be held on May 19, the petition had said.
"Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to section 123(3) of the RPA 1951. Kamal Haasan 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 had also claimed.