SC slams BJP ‘disparaging ads’ against TMC, refuses to interfere with HC order

While hearing BJP's appeal against the HC order restraining the party from publishing "derogatory or slanderous" ads targeting the opposition party TMC, SC refused to interfere and added, “the ads were prima facie disparaging.”

By  Storyboard18May 28, 2024 12:24 PM
SC slams BJP ‘disparaging ads’ against TMC, refuses to interfere with HC order
While addressing the BJP counsel, towards the end of the hearing, Justice Vishwanathan remarked, "Your rival is not an enemy!" (Image source: Moneycontrol)

Refusing to interfere with May 22, Calcutta High Court order prohibiting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from publishing advertisements in the ongoing general election, the Supreme court on Monday noted that the BJP advertisements against All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) were prima facie “disparaging”. The Bench was hearing BJP's appeal against the HC order restraining the party from publishing "derogatory or slanderous" ads targeting the opposition party.

The Court further remarked that such ads will not help the voter, according to a Bar and Bench report. A vacation bench of Justices J K Maheshwari and K V Viswanathan said, “This is not in the interests of the voter. This will degenerate…,” and “Don’t precipitate the issue, we are not inclined to interfere.” A division bench of the HC had emphasised that it was imperative that all political parties follow healthy electoral practices, as the ultimate victim of misleading electoral campaigns was the voter.

During the hearing yesterday, Senior Advocate PS Patwalia, who represented BJP, argued that the ads were based on facts and that the party was not heard by the single-judge. However, the SC after looking at the ads said it was not inclined to interfere with the HC order.

While addressing the BJP counsel, towards the end of the hearing, Justice Vishwanathan remarked, "Your rival is not an enemy!"

Last week, the Calcutta HC had also pulled up the Election Commission of India (ECI) for failing to address the complaints filed by the TMC against the BJP ads that targeted the ruling party in West Bengal, further restraining the BJP from publishing such ads.

First Published on May 28, 2024 12:24 PM

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