\ Advancing rejoinder arguments at the fag end of the day\\’s Advancing rejoinder arguments at the fag end of the day\\’s\hearing, senior advocate Shyam Divan referred to materials\available on the website of the Election Commission with\regard to parties like Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and said the\court should keep in mind that there are political outfits\having accepted religion-based agenda.\ He also referred to the contents including objectives of\parties like SAD, Indian Union of Muslim League and DMK and\said they clearly say that they would work for the cause of a\particular religion or language and hence, there cannot be a\straight-jacket formula to deal with the issue at hand.\ These things show the parties are bound by objectives,\accepted by the poll panel and hence can appeal to electors on\the name of religion, language etc, he said.\ Yesterday, the court observed discrimination on the basis\of religion or caste is a key part of political discourse.\ The apex court asked whether a candidate or a party,\seeking votes in the name of religion, caste or tribe by\promising that this would help protect and improve the voters\\’\lot as a community, would be a \\"corrupt practice\\".\ The bench is hearing a batch of petitions including the\one filed by Abhiram Singh whose election as an MLA in 1990 on\BJP ticket from Santacruz assembly seat in Mumbai was set\aside by the Bombay High Court.\ The apex court in February 2014 had tagged Abhiram\Singh\\’s petition with others in which the five judge bench had\decided in 2002 to re-visit its 20-year old \\’Hindutva\\’\judgement for an authoritative pronouncement on electoral laws\by a seven-judge bench.\ The issue of interpretation of section 123(3) arose on\January 30, 2014 before a five-judge which referred it for\examination before a larger bench of seven judges.\ A three-judge bench on April 16, 1992 had referred to a\five-judge Constitution bench Singh\\’s appeal in which the same\question and interpretation of Section 123(3) was raised.\ While the five-judge bench was hearing this matter on\January 30, 2014, it was informed that an identical issue was\raised in an election petition filed by Narayan Singh against\BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa and the another Constitution Bench\of five judges of the apex court had referred it to a larger\bench of seven judges.\ Thereafter, the five-judge bench had referred Singh\\’s\matter also to the Chief Justice for placing it before a\seven-judge bench. PTI SJK MNL RKS\ARC\


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