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Judiciary

SC refuses to entertain BJP's plea against Calcutta HC order restraining derogatory ads against TMC

By Jhanak Singh      27 May, 2024 01:58 PM      0 Comments
SC refuses to entertain BJPs plea against Calcutta HC order restraining derogatory ads against TMC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea by Bharatiya Janata Party against the Calcutta High Court order directing it not to publish any kind of derogatory advertisements targeting the Trinamool Congress in violation the model code of conduct during the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, 2024.

A bench of Justices J K Maheshwari and K V Vishwanathan told senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for the appellant-party not to precipitate the matter.

The bench said the advertisement was not in interest of voters and the rival party was not the enemy.

"We have seen the advertisements. Prima Facie, the advertisements are disparaging. We don't want to lend our hands to promote further acrimony," the bench said.

Patwalia, on his part, preferred to withdraw the petition. He submitted he would prefer to file a reply before the High Court's single judge bench which passed the interim order.

The HC's single-judge bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya had on May 20 restrained the BJP from publishing the ads until further orders, after finding the advertisements in question to be in violation of the MCC.

The HC had then pulled up the Election Commission for "grossly failing" to address the complaints filed by the TMC against BJP advertisements that targeted the ruling party in West Bengal.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by TMC to restrain the BJP from carrying such ads. The TMC had objected to certain ads published by the BJP in certain newspapers against the Mamata Banerjee- led party.

This single-judge order was challenged by the BJP in the two-judge bench of the HC, which also refused to entertain BJP's prayers on May 22.

The HC's division bench refused to grant any relief to the BJP saying that the party should not to publish any advertisement violating the MCC during the Lok Sabha election process.

The HC had also observed that it was imperative that all political parties follow healthy electoral practices, as the ultimate victim of misleading electoral campaigns was the voter.

Maintaining that a "Laxman Rekha" should be adhered to, the court said that there should not be any personal attack on the part of any political party.

The HC bench of Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya underscored the necessity for all political parties to adhere to healthy electoral practices, noting that misleading electoral campaigns ultimately harm the voter. 



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