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'India Is a Democracy': SC Junks Plea Over Congress 'Toolkit'

Justice Chandrachud questioned if the Court can ever control various forms of political propaganda.

Published
Law
2 min read
Image of India’s Supreme Court used for representational purposes.
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 6 July, refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought a probe by the National investigation Agency (NIA) into the Congress 'toolkit' case and wanted Indian National Congress’ (INC) registration to be suspended if the allegations against them are found true.

Expressing displeasure over the petition, Justice DY Chandrachud said such frivolous petitions "cannot be heard", NDTV reported.

The top court said, "The time has come that the Supreme Court does something about such petitions."

Moreover, the bench asked Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, who was representing the petitioner, how a petition under Article 32 can be entertained against political propaganda.

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Jha said that even the use of the term "Indian variant" for the COVID mutant was a matter of propaganda. He added, Singapore has taken objection to use of terms like "Singapore variant".

Justice Chandrachud asserted, "India is a democracy, you know?" He further questioned if the court can ever control various forms of political propaganda."

Saying that a criminal investigation is already pending in the 'toolkit' matter, Justice MR Shah, who was part of the two-judge bench, added that the petitioner ought to avail remedies other than Article 32, which involves the right to move the Supreme Court for enforcement of other rights.

The bench noted that directions could not be issued under Article 32, as a general, umbrella petition could not be maintained under it, LiveLaw reported.

What is the Congress ‘Toolkit’ Case?

The case pertains to the 'toolkit', which BJP leaders said was allegedly created by the Congress to target the government over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra's tweet was tagged as 'manipulated media' by Twitter two days after the party accused Congress for making a 'toolkit' targeting the government over its COVID handling.

On 18 May, Patra had shared screenshots of the alleged ‘toolkit’, claiming that the Congress had created the document to “corner” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his handling of the pandemic.

Following this, the Government of India had made a "strong" communication to Twitter, objecting to the use of the 'manipulated media' tags on certain tweets by Indian politicians, and asked the social media company to remove them "in the interests of fairness and equity", sources in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said.

(With inputs from NDTV and LiveLaw)

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