NEW DELHI A Delhi High Court judge Wednesday recused himself from hearing a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission to bar Jammu and Kashmir politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from participating in the Lok Sabha election as they have allegedly made “seditious” statements.
Justice A J Bhambhani, who was part of the division bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon, recused himself from hearing the matter.
“List it before a bench in which one of us, that is, Justice Bhambhani, is not a member,” the chief justice said.
The matter would come up for hearing before another bench on April 12.
The petition filed by a lawyer alleged that the “seditious and communal statements” given by the three leaders were against the Constitution, adding that the court or the EC should bar or impose conditions on their entry into the Lok Sabha.
All the three leaders are former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir. The petition has arrayed the EC, the Union of India, the Delhi Police, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti as parties to the petition.
The plea moved by advocate Sanjjiiv Kkumaar has also sought a direction to book them under various charges, including sedition and inciting hatred, of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
“Issue directions to the respondent number 1 (EC) to ban the NC and the PDP from Lok Sabha election 2019 as respondent number 4 and 6 (the three leaders) are presidents of their respective parties and represent their parties and their ideologies,” it alleged.
“Will it not be a mockery of democracy to allow those people and parties to participate in the Lok Sabha election when people/parties openly call for sedition to divide Mother India on the basis of religion (Muslim majority) and two prime ministers (for Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India),” it said.
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