LAPRI files 37 complaints to authorities as on 12 May for violations of MCC and RPA

Out of 37 complaints filed by LAPRI since the MCC came into force, no action taken in 19 complaints, FIR registered in 5


As the Model Code of Conduct came into force on 16 March, authorities, especially, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has been flooded with complaints regarding violations of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)[1], the Representation of the People Act, 1951[2], and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Bangalore based non-profit organisation Law and Policy Research Institute (LAPRI) has filed 37 such complaints till May 12 with the Election Commission of India (ECI) and in some cases it has even tagged police authorities, asking the authorities to take action against the reported violations. No action has been taken in 19 of these complaints, with FIR registered in 5 cases.

Four complaints each has been filed against Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and Navneet Rana, with three each against Himanta Biswa Sharma and BJP Karnataka, and two each against Yogi Adityanath and Raja Singh.

The complaints are filed for violation various provisions relating to hate speech, disinformation, and appeal to religion for the purpose of seeking votes. Disinclination to act against these complaints concerning hate speech, disinformation campaign, and religious appeals have raised serious concerns about the conduct of ECI. Additionally, in the absence of any substantive action by the poll body, as revealed from the LAPRI data, such vicious speeches and activities continue unabated, unduly affecting the level playing field and benefitting the ruling regime.

Section 123 (3) of the RPA considers it to be a corrupt practice if a candidate or his agent asks a voter “to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community or language or the use of, or appeal to religious symbols or the use of, or appeal to, national symbols, such as the national flag or the national emblem…”

Section 123 (3A) of the RPA notes that corrupt practice would involve “The promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language, by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate.”

Section 125 of the RPA reads that “Any person who in connection with an election under this Act promotes or attempts to promote on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language, feelings of enmity or hatred, between different classes of the citizens of India shall he punishable, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”

A detailed LAPRI report can be found here:





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