Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea on 'Toolkit', petitioner withdraws it

Shashank Shekhar Jha, while referring to the alleged 'Toolkit', said that terms like 'Indian strain' should not be used.
Supreme Court (File Photo| EPS)
Supreme Court (File Photo| EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking preliminary enquiry into the alleged 'Toolkit', which was purportedly created to tarnish image of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over handling of COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you don't like 'Toolkit', you ignore it," a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah told the petitioner, who withdrew the plea.

"This is a part of political propaganda and if you don't like it, then you ignore it," the bench told advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha who had filed the petition.

Jha, while referring to the alleged 'Toolkit', said that terms like 'Indian strain' should not be used.

"India is a democracy," the bench said, adding that "such a relief in petition under Article 32 cannot be granted."

"Why should we issue directions in petition under 32? People have remedy in criminal law. You can withdraw this and pursue your other remedies," the bench told the petitioner.

The BJP had earlier accused the Congress of creating the 'toolkit' on how to tarnish the image of the country and the Prime Minister over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Congress had denied the allegation and its leader had filed a police complaint here claiming the BJP is propagating the "fake toolkit'' to defame their party.

In his plea filed in the apex court, Jha had also sought direction to the Election Commission of India to suspend the registration of Congress party if they are found to be doing alleged anti-national acts and playing with the lives of common people.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the petitioner referred to one of the prayers in his plea seeking direction to the Centre to issue guidelines to the political parties, groups or individuals to stop all kind of hoardings and portraying alleged anti-national stance including usage of photos of funeral and dead bodies, naming mutants after India and others.

"Why should we stop," the bench said, adding, "This is the problem. The time of the Supreme Court is being taken up by frivolous petitions. You can't come with umbrella petition."

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The New Indian Express