Ahmedabad: A local court on Monday dismissed an application which had sought action against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for violation of election-related laws during last year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Chief judicial magistrate, Ahmedabad rural court, SR Sinh, rejected the petition filed by Nishant Verma, a worker of Aam Aadmi Party.
“Records produced before this court do not reveal any material necessary for taking cognisance,” the order said.
“The investigation (by detection of crime branch of city police) is just and proper no prima facie case against any accused is made out,” the court said.
On April 30, 2014, as the voting for 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat was still underway, Modi then BJP’s prime ministerial candidate addressed the press immediately after casting his own vote at a school in Ranip area in Ahmedabad. He also took selfies with the party symbol lotus.
It had triggered a controversy and the Election Commission directed Ahmedabad crime branch to register FIR and probe the alleged breach of poll code. police lodged the FIR under Section 126 (1)(a) of Representation of People Act (RPA) for holding a public meeting and under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code for “violating” election notification, apart from Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code which prohibits unlawful assembly.
Verma had, however, approached the Ranip police, seeking registration of FIR also under Section 130 of RPA and sections 114 and 171 (c) of IPC. When the police refused, he had moved the court.
RPA Section 130 prohibits any person from canvassing for votes or exhibit any notice or sign related to the election inside or near the polling station on the day of polling. IPC Section 114 is about role of abettor, while 171(c) is about interference with “free exercise of electoral right” and attempt to exercise “undue influence at an election”.
In the meantime, the crime branch filed a closure report in the case filed by EC officials, giving a clean chit to Modi.
Verma’s lawyer, advocate KR Koshti, argued that police did not consult either the EC officials or the complainant while probing the case.
But Public Prosecutor Pravin Trivedi cited the crime branch’s closure report and maintained that Modi had committed no offence.
Verma said that he would challenge the Monday’s order of the court before the Gujarat High Court as soon as possible.