On Tuesday, the Rajasthan High Court rejected a request for an order prohibiting political party representatives from visiting religious sites or soliciting votes on the basis of their caste, community, language, or place of worship.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sandeep Mehta noted that the same petitioner had previously filed a similar plea.
Sant Vaidehi Maharaj, the petitioner, had argued in his previous petition that all political parties and candidates running for office may only use their names and identities in accordance with their registration on the electoral roll or on their nomination forms, but that the candidates’ surnames and castes should not be made public during the election campaign.
The petitioner had pleaded that “the candidates and leaders of the political parties may be restricted from visiting the religious locations during election campaign.”
Observing that “soliciting vote in the name of religion, caste, community, language, etc. is statutorily forbidden and, so, no general orders in this regard are required,” the Court dismissed the case.
However, the court had made it plain that the Election Commission may properly handle specific grievances in this regard in conformity with the law. The petitioner did make some representations to the Election Commission following the first order, but nothing tangible happened, the Court said in the current argument.
Following these views, the bench dismissed the appeal while directing the Chief Election Commission to fairly consider any earlier representations made by the petitioner.
With regard to the aforementioned, the Court stated, “We are not inclined to exercise our discretionary jurisdiction in this writ petition and dismiss the writ petition with the directions to the Chief Election Commissioner of India to objectively consider and pass appropriate orders on the representation of the petitioner, if any, made in this connection earlier.”