The judiciary cannot interfere with the election process once the dates are announced until the declaration of results, said former chief election commission TS Krishnamurthy.
"Judiciary should look at Article 329 of the constitution. Judiciary cannot interfere with the election process once the election has been announced and till the results are announced. The election matters are exclusively the preserve of the election commission," he said.
Krishnamurthy's comments came after the Supreme Court sought the Election Commission's response on a plea alleging "blatant" violation of the model code of conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
The petition, filed by Congress MP Sushmita Dev, alleges that the Election Commission failed to act against the top BJP leaders despite multiple complaints lodged against them. The plea alleges hate speeches and use of armed forces for "political propaganda". The EC told the court that it would meet to consider the complaints filed against the leaders. The apex court will hear the matter again on Thursday.
"I am surprised that some of the judiciary members are asking the Election Commission to explain. Election commission doesn't have to explain at all in my view because there is no jurisdiction for the court to interfere on the election matters. The court can certainly interfere after the election result is announced," said Krishnamurthy.
"Every judicial authority has its own powers, it has to give a quasi-judicial jurisdiction, they have to hear the various viewpoints, they may have to take a legal opinion and then take a decision. Article 329 clearly bars the judiciary to interfere in the election process from the date of announcement of elections till the date of declaration of results," he further added.