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India Supreme Court Dismisses PIL Seeking 6-Year Election Ban on Prime Minister Modi

The petition alleged PM Modi violated electoral code of conduct by invoking religious sentiments to garner votes

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Rakeshh Kumar SV

Published on May 14, 2024, 16:42:22

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india, supreme court, modi, elections, pil, constitution

 

In a significant ruling that reverberates across the political landscape, the Supreme Court of India has dismissed a petition seeking a six-year ban on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from contesting elections.

The petition, which alleged that PM Modi had violated the electoral code of conduct by invoking religious sentiments to garner votes, was deemed untenable by the highest judicial authority in the country.

The decision marks the culmination of a legal battle that captured national attention and fuelled intense debate over the permissible boundaries of political discourse and the role of religion in elections.

The petition, filed by concerned citizens, argued that PM Modi's electoral tactics undermined the secular fabric of the nation and polarized the electorate. A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and SC Sharma asked the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned for the redressal of the grievance.

"Have you approached authorities? For writ of mandamus, you must approach the authorities first," the Bench said. The petitioner Fatima, through Advocate Anand S. Jondhale, withdrew the plea and the matter was dismissed as withdrawn.

What is a Public Interest Litigation (PIL)?

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a legal mechanism in many countries, including India, that allows individuals or organisations to initiate legal action on behalf of the public interest, even if they are not directly affected by the issue at hand.

PIL is primarily used to address matters of public concern or to enforce legal and constitutional rights.
In India, PILs can be filed by any individual, organization, or group of persons acting in the public interest.

The concept of PIL was introduced by the Indian judiciary to ensure that the rights of marginalised or disadvantaged groups are protected and that justice is accessible to all, irrespective of their socio-economic status.

Under Indian law, PILs can be filed in the Supreme Court, High Courts, or even in lower courts, depending on the nature and scope of the issue. These cases typically involve matters such as environmental protection, corruption, human rights violations, public health and the enforcement of constitutional rights.

To qualify as a PIL, the case must involve a substantial public interest element, meaning that the issue affects a large section of the population or pertains to a fundamental legal or constitutional principle.

Additionally, the petitioner must demonstrate that they have sufficient standing to bring the case to court and that they are not motivated by personal gain or malice.

PILs have been instrumental in bringing about significant social and legal reforms in India by holding governments and public authorities accountable for their actions and decisions. They serve as a powerful tool for promoting transparency, accountability, and justice in a democratic society. 

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