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Delhi High Court asks Election Commission to take appropriate action against Rahul Gandhi for his pickpocket remark against PM Modi, Amit Shah

The Delhi High Court directed the Election Commission of India to take appropriate action against senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and businessman Gautam Adani pickpockets during a public speech. 

Lawyer Bharat Nagar had moved to the High Court in the matter and sought action against the Congress leader for several public comments, including when he called the Prime Minister panauti. 

The Delhi High Court observed that Rahul Gandhi’s comments were in poor taste and asked the Election Commission to take appropriate action in accordance with the law within eight weeks. Nonetheless, the court refused to order the registration of any criminal case against Rahul Gandhi or order the framing of strict guidelines for election speeches as sought for by the petitioner. 

The court further ruled that these speeches and statements may be in a poor taste but this sort of action should be taken by the aggrieved party. It added that in an election, people give the result and they cannot interfere in all these. It also noted that courts cannot direct the Parliament and vice versa as both are a sovereign body. 

Bharat Nagar in his plea referred to Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Nadbai, Rajasthan on November 22 in which the leader had alleged that the Prime Minister diverts people’s attention while businessman Gautam Adani picks people’s pockets. 

The petitioner also recounted that the Supreme Court had already cautioned Rahul Gandhi to be more careful with his statements after a contempt petition was lodged by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi against the Congress leader for saying Chowkidar Chor Hai. 

Advocates Adish Aggarwala and Kirti Uppal who appeared for the petitioner said that the directions were being sought for the framing of stricter laws and guidelines against such speeches. Adish Aggarwala said that the Election Commission merely issued notice to Rahul Gandhi, adding the the commission lacked power to take strict action against the leader. 

During the proceedings, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma who appeared for the Central government submitted that the ECI should come up with instructions on the matter. After obtaining the instructions, the ECI told the Court a notice was issued to Rahul Gandhi for his speech and that even though he was asked to reply by November 25, no reply has been received.

In addition, the petitioner also demanded the Chief Election Commissioner to take strict action against Gandhi over his speeches or to direct Gandhi to give proof to back up his allegations.

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