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BJP appeals to Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court's ban on election ads

BJP appeals to Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court's ban on election ads

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge a Calcutta High Court order that upheld a ban on their election advertisements, which allegedly violate the Model Code of Conduct during the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP seeks urgent intervention to overturn the High Court's decision that restrains them from publishing such advertisements until June 4.

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Story highlights
  • BJP challenges Calcutta High Court's ban on their election advertisements in the Supreme Court.
  • High Court order bars BJP from publishing ads violating the Model Code of Conduct until June 4.
  • BJP argues that the Election Commission should handle election-related disputes, not the High Court.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appealed to the Supreme Court against a Calcutta High Court order that upheld a ban on the party's election advertisements that allegedly violate the Model Code of Conduct during the ongoing Lok Sabha election process.

On Friday, BJP's counsel, Advocate Saurabh Mishra, presented the matter before a vacation bench consisting of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal, requesting an urgent hearing. Mishra informed the bench that a division bench of the Calcutta High Court had issued the restraining order on May 22, which prevents the BJP from publishing any election advertisements until June 4.

The bench suggested moving the next vacation bench, but Mishra urged the court to list the matter for hearing on Monday, May 27. The bench responded, "We will see."

This legal move follows a division bench of the Calcutta High Court's decision on May 22, which refused to interfere with an earlier single-judge order from May 20. The single-judge order had placed an injunction on the BJP, barring them from publishing advertisements that could breach the Model Code of Conduct. The order also targeted advertisements containing unverified allegations against the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its workers, as highlighted in TMC's petition.

The division bench emphasized the importance of political parties maintaining decorum, noting that a "laxman rekha" (boundary line) should be respected, and discouraged personal attacks in campaign materials. Despite the BJP's argument that the single-judge order was issued without granting the party a fair hearing, the division bench maintained the ruling and suggested that the BJP could seek a review or recall from the single judge.

In its appeal, the BJP argued that the Constitution designates the Election Commission as the appropriate authority to handle disputes related to the election process. The party contended that the High Court's intervention was unnecessary and unwarranted.

Former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressed concern over the incident and extended condolences to the deceased.

This legal battle underscores the heightened scrutiny and tensions surrounding campaign practices and the enforcement of electoral regulations as the Lok Sabha elections proceed.

Edited By: sanchayaita roy
Published On: May 24, 2024