Lok Sabha polls 2024: Supreme Court refuses to entertain BJP’s plea against Calcutta High Court order on advertisements : The Tribune India

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Lok Sabha polls 2024: Supreme Court refuses to entertain BJP’s plea against Calcutta High Court order on advertisements

'This is not in the interest of voters,' a Vacation Bench of Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice KV Viswanathan says

Lok Sabha polls 2024: Supreme Court refuses to entertain BJP’s plea against Calcutta High Court order on advertisements

'Prima facie, the advertisement is disparaging,' the bench says.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 27

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain the BJP’s petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order restraining the saffron party from publishing certain alleged derogatory advertisements against the TMC and its leaders during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls as they violated the Model Code of Conduct.

“This is not in the interest of voters. This will degenerate... We are not inclined to interfere (with the high court’s order),” a Vacation Bench of Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice KV Viswanathan told senior counsel PS Patwalia who represented the BJP.

“We have seen the advertisements. Prima facie, the advertisements are disparaging. You can say you are the best…but we don’t want to lend our hands to promote further acrimony....,” Justice Viswanathan said even as Patwalia asserted that the advertisements were based on facts.

As the Bench was not inclined to entertain the petition, Patwalia chose to withdraw the petition and it was “dismissed as withdrawn”.

“Your rival is not your enemy,” the Bench noted.

The top court had on Friday agreed to consider the BJP’s petition after it was mentioned before another Vacation Bench led by Justice Bela M Trivedi for urgent listing.

A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court had on May 22 refused to interfere with a single-judge order restraining the BJP from publishing ‘derogatory’ advertisements against the TMC and its leaders, saying “Laxman Rekha” should not be crossed and there should not be any personal attacks.

Refusing to interfere with the May 20 single judge order, the Division Bench had said the BJP could move the single judge, seeking a review or recall of its order.

“You (BJP) are a national party. There should be an internal mechanism either at central or state level which will approve what propaganda can be printed. There should be some Lakshman Rekha... We are not complimenting them (TMC)…but imagine the impact on normal people,” the HC had said.

The BJP had contended that the single judge passed the order without giving it hearing and that the Election Commission was the appropriate authority for redress in case of any dispute during a poll process.

The high court on May 20 restrained the BJP from publishing advertisements that violated the Model Code of Conduct until June 4, the day results are to be declared.

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