NEW DELHI: The Supreme court on Tuesday dismissed a plea, which had also sought to bar the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders from using the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan during the poll campaign in the state.
A plea, filed by lawyer M L Sharma, sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR into the alleged chanting of religious slogans during electioneering in West Bengal.
The plea raised the legal question on whether raising the slogan is a “violation under S 123(3) & 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”
According to the plea, chanting of “Jai Shri Ram, other religious slogans are creating disharmony” and is an offence under the IPC and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had initially told advocate M L Sharma, the petitioner, to approach the Calcutta high court.
At the hearing, the petitioner said this is “not a matter of an election petition.”
“One party is using a religious slogan. Why should I go to the high court,” Sharma told the bench.
On the insistence of the petitioner that the matter be heard on Wednesday, the three-judge bench dismissed the plea, saying “Alright, we do not agree with you.”
The same plea also challenged the Election Commission’s decision to conduct assembly elections over eight phases in West Bengal, citing violation of Article 14 (right to life) and Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.
(With PTI inputs)