Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Election Commission takes cognisance of violation of provisions of Section 126 of R.P. Act 1951 by Narendra Modi & others

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered filing of an FIR against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for display of his party election symbol at a meeting in Ahmedabad after he cast his vote on April 30 in the afternoon. The two page ECI's order no. 464lGJ-HP/20|4IWS-I signed by K Ajaya Kumar, Principal Secretary, ECI is addressed to the Chief Secretary,Government of Gujarat and Director General of police,Gujarat, Gandhinagar with a subject line-"Violation of provisions of Section 126 of R.P. Act 1951 by Sh.Narendra Modi & Others-regarding."
The order reads: "The Commission has seen the video recording of the address by Sh. Narendra Modi at a meeting in Ahmedabad after he cast his vote today (30.04.14) in the morning. From the substance, tone and tenor of the address made by Sh.Modi and the statements made by him and the manner in which the symbol "'Lotus" of the BJP was being displayed by him at the said meet, thereby displaying to the public election matter by means of television in polling areas going to polls today it is evident that the said address was in the nature of political speech intended and calculated to influence and affect the result of elections in the constituencies going to polls today, not only in Ahmadabad but also in all other constituencies in the State of Gujarat and elsewhere in the country."

The Commission's order states that if any restrictions have been imposed by the competent authority in Ahmadabad under Section 144 of crPC, which empowers a magistrate to prohibit gathering of more than ten persons at a place, then complaints/FIRs should also be made under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). It deals with offenses related to disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant. 

The Commission also directed that all the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings/images of the said meeting and display of election matter (as defined in section 126(3) of R.P. Act, 1951) on their channels should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) by filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels. 

The concluding paragraph of the order reads: "Compliance reports in this regard should be sent to the Commission latest by 6:00 PM today. Copies of complaints/FlRs should also be furnished to the Commission along with the compliance report. "

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