HC cautions against unnecessary remarks during polls

, Madras High Court Saturday expressed hope that they would join hands to ensure a free and fair assembly election in Tamil Nadu.

Last Updated: Apr 09, 2011, 23:28 PM IST

Chennai: Cautioning political parties and the
Election Commission against making statements that would
create unnecessary complications, Madras High Court Saturday
expressed hope that they would join hands to ensure a free and
fair assembly election in Tamil Nadu.

"All political parties and ECI should not make any
statement which will create unnecessary complications. We hope
and trust that all the political parties and respondents and
the public join together for free and fair elections scheduled
to be held on April 13," the court said.

The observation was made by a bench comprising Chief
Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam while disposing
of a PIL petition which took exception to remarks by Chief
Minister M Karunanidhi criticising the EC`s restrictions and
stating that a mini-emergency like situation prevailed in the
state.

The petitioner, S Balamurugan, General Secretary of
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, had sought a direction to
restrain Karunanidhi from indulging in any acts which may
undermine the authority of the EC in the conduct of the
elections.

The petitioner had submitted that Karunanidhi at an
election rally in Erode on March 31 had described the EC curbs
as akin to an undeclared `emergency`.

The petition also contended that the `attack` on EC by
Karunanidhi was matched by the statements by Union Home
Minsiter P Chidambaram, who the petitioner alleged used
suggestive language in cautioning the commission from imposing
unreasonable conditions.

Such publicly aired criticism by the two holding
responsible posts about the measures adopted by the EC "...has
created a context of confrontation which vitiates the
electoral atmosphere, seriously undermining the Constitution
and eroding the rule of law," the petitioner had alleged.

The court made it clear that it had not gone into
assertions made in the petition so that "it may not be used as
publicity litigation."

PTI