The Delhi High Court today sought response of Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM on a plea seeking to quash its registration as a political party, alleging that it raises issues concerning only Muslims and seeks votes in the name of religion.
Justice Siddharth Mridul also sought response of the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the petition filed by the president of Shiv Sena in Telangana, seeking to set aside the June 19, 2014 order of the poll panel granting recognition to the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Musalimeen (AIMIM) as a state party.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on December 3.
Advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain, who appeared for petitioner Tirupati Narasimha Murari, argued that the party has violated the principle of secularism and allegedly abused Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The plea was opposed by the AIMIM's counsel who said there was no material facts and the allegations made in the plea were not correct.
The court remarked that some of the allegations made in the plea were "scandalous" and were neither desirous nor permissible.
"I will expunge them. Court is not the platform for such things. These are scandalous allegations. It is not allowed. You take away merit of the petition by making such allegations," the judge said agreeing with the party's counsel and asking him to point out other objectionable portions in the plea.
When the petitioner's counsel said that a political party cannot be registered on communal agenda, the court said Muslims getting together for meetings cannot be qualified as "communal agenda".
On the resistance of the party's counsel to issuance of notice on the plea, the judge said, "I am not putting on hold your recognition. I am just asking for your response."
The petition claimed that the constitution and working of AIMIM was against the law laid down by the Supreme Court and the party was ought to be disqualified as a political party as its aim and object are opposed to the concept of secularism, one of the requirements under the Representation of the People Act.
It also sought a direction restraining the ECI from recognising and treating the AIMIM as a registered political party.
The petitioner, who claimed to have contested Lok Sabha polls in 2014, said he was filing the plea in his personal capacity and the relief sought in the petition affects his rights of free and fair election.
The plea said the English translated meaning of AIMIM was 'All India Council of the Union of Muslims' which was founded as a political party in 1958 and the leaders and workers of the party were "continuously abusing Hindu religion, their Gods Goddesses". It alleged that several FIRs have been lodged against them.
"The constitution of AIMIM clearly raises issues relating to Muslim community and thinks only for the welfare of Muslims, which is violative of the principles of secularism as envisaged by the Constitution of India...
"The party having aim and object for the benefit of only Muslim community, formed on communal concept can in no way fulfil the object of secular principles. The declaration given by AIMIM to uphold the secular principles is farce and fraud on the law and the constitution," it claimed.
The petition said every political party was bound to follow the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and to ensure that its candidates do not seek vote making religious appeal.