Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Election Commission’s revocation of Congress leader Kamal Nath‘s star campaigner status.
Nath was reprimanded by the Election Commission for alleged violations of “moral and dignified behavior”. He had called BJP’s cabinet minister Imrati Devi an “item” during a campaign rally in Dabra.
Nath had moved the Supreme Court against the EC’s order canceling the status of his star campaigner for violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) while campaigning for the by-elections in 28 Vidhan Sabha seats.
He had said that the Election Commission order was passed without any notice or hearing in the matter, violating the principles of natural justice.
The former CM of Madhya Pradesh had said in the petition that the Election Commission order was unlawful, arbitrary, unlawful, which was passed in gross violation of basic rules of natural justice and neglect of fair play and therefore it should be dismissed.
The Election Commission of India (ECI), accepting the SC order, said that ‘the apex court is supreme’. The Election Commission said that the apex court has given an opportunity to file an answer in the case and will do so soon.
Kapil Sibal who was representing Kamal Nath opposed Dwivedi, saying: “No notice was issued to us and this was arbitrary.”
Representing the Election Commission, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde that the matter had become disastrous as the election campaign was over and the by-elections are due on November 3.
In the order, the poll panel had said, “…for repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him, the Commission hereby revokes the status of leader of a political party (Star Campaigner) of Kamal Nath, Ex-Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh, with immediate effect for the current Bye-elections of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.”