93 Former Civil Servants Write Letter to EC Demanding Action on Modi’s Communal Speech

Date:

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Ninety-three former civil servant have written a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the speech given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21.

The speech contained hate-filled remarks against Muslims, suggesting that were “infiltrators” and the opposition, if elected, would give away “mangalsutras” and “land” of those listening to his speech to Muslims. The ECI has received over 2,200 complaint letters from citizens over this particular speech.

The letter specified ways in which the speech violated the Model Code of Conduct, the Representation of People Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The letter was actually written by former IIM-Ahmedabad professor Jagdeep Chhokar and endorsed by former civil servants.

Read the full letter from the former civil servants below.

23 April 2024

To
Shri Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner
Shri Gyanesh Kumar, Election Commissioner
Dr. S.S. Sandhu, Election Commissoner 

Dear Shri Rajiv Kumar, Shri Gyanesh Kumar and Dr .S.S. Sandhu,

We are a group of former civil servants who have served the Central and State governments in various capacities. We have no affiliation with any political party but are strongly committed to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India.

As members of the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), we write to endorse the letter (copied below) written by Prof Jagdeep S. Chhokar on April 22, 2024, regarding the outrageously communal speech given by the Prime Minister on April 21, 2024. We hope the Election Commission of India will at least now take suitable action as suggested in the letter under reference (at pages 2-4 below).

SATYAMEVA JAYATE

Yours sincerely,

Constitutional Conduct Group (93 signatories, at pages 4-7 below)

§

LETTER FROM PROF. JAGDEEP S. CHHOKAR TO ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Jagdeep S. Chhokar, PhD., LL.B.
Professor (Retired) and Former Dean
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad         

April 22, 2024

Shri Rajiv Kumar
Chief Election Commissioner

Shri Gyanesh Kumar
Election Commissioner 

Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu
Election Commissioner

Subject: Violation of (a) the Model Code of Conduct, (b) Sections 123(3) and (3A), 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, in a speech in Banswara, Rajasthan, on April 21, 2024.

Dear S/Shri Rajiv Kumar, Gyanesh Kumar, and Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu,

  1. I write to you as a concerned citizen of India and a keen observer of the political and electoral situation in the county, while being completely non-partisan about ALL political parties.
  2. I have been concerned about the political discourse in the current campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election. However, it is a speech by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, in Banswara in Rajasthan, on April 21, 2024, that makes me take the liberty of writing to you to lodge a complaint for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
  3. A link to the video of this speech is available at the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8s9LkUoFzA, with the title “PM Modi Live | Public meeting in Banswara, Rajasthan | Lok Sabha Election 2024”.
  4. Anyone watching the entire video will, in my opinion, will not be left in any doubt whatsoever that it is an election campaign video. Shri Modi is a star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and actually names candidates contesting on behalf of the BJP.
  5. I urge the full Commission to particularly watch the video from 36:44 to 38:01, a Hindi transcript of which, taken from the You Tube link mentioned above itself, is reproduced below.
  6. =================================================
    36:44

मेनिफेस्टो में गोल ले लेंगे सबको वितरित कर देंगे और

36:50

पहले जब उनकी सरकार थी उन्होंने कहा था कि देश की संपत्ति पर पहला अधिकार मुसलमानों

36:59

इसका मतलब यह संपत्ति इकट्ठी करके किसको

37:04

बांटेंगे जिनके ज्यादा बच्चे हैं उनको

37:10

बाटेंगे घुसपैठियों को बाटेंगे क्या आपकी मेहनत की कमाई का पैसा

37:17

गुपे को दिया जाएगा आपको मंजूर है य यह कांग्रेस का मैनिफेस्टो कह रहा

37:26

है माताओं बहनों का सोने का हिसाब करेंगे उसकी जड़ती करेंगे जानकारी लेंगे और फिर

37:34

उस संपत्ति को बांट देंगे और उनको बांटेंगे जिनको मनमोहन सिंह जी की सरकार

37:40

ने कहा था कि संपत्ति पर पहला अधिकार मुसलमानों का है भाइयों बहनों ये अर्बन

37:48

नक्सल की सोच मेरी माताओं बहनों ये

37:54

आपका मंगल सूत्र भी बचने नहीं देंगे यहां तक जाएंगे मैं कहने

38:01

आया साथियों

  1. To me it is clear that the above excerpts from Shri Modi’s speech are clearly in violation of Sections 123(3), 123(3A), and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951. The RPA, 1951 can be seen at https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2096/5/a1951-43.pdf.
  2. Sections 123(3), 123(3A), and Section 125 of the RPA, 1951, are reproduced below for ready reference.

“123(3) The appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent 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, for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate:

Provided that no symbol allotted under this Act to a candidate shall be deemed to be a religious symbol or a national symbol for the purposes of this clause.”

“123(3A) 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.”

“125. Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election.—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.”

  1. In addition, to the above violations of the RPA 1951, the above speech and the excerpts in particular, also attract the provisions of Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code which reads as follows:

153A. Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.—(1) Whoever—

(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or

(b) commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity.

The complete text of the Indian Penal Code can be accessed at https://lddashboard.legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf.

  1. I urge the Commission to take appropriate action on the violations as described above with information to the undersigned.
  2. Given the election is already underway, it is absolutely necessary that the action be taken without any loss of time.
  3. I really look forward to hearing from you VERY SOON.

An MS Word file of this letter is attached for easy reading.

With warm regards,

Jagdeep S. Chhokar

§

1.Anand ArniRAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
2.Aruna BagcheeIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, GoI
3.Sandeep BagcheeIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
4.G. BalachandhranIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
5.Vappala BalachandranIPS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
6.Gopalan BalagopalIAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
7.Chandrashekar BalakrishnanIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
8.Rana BanerjiRAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
9.Sharad BeharIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
10.Madhu BhaduriIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Portugal
11.Nutan Guha BiswasIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Police Complaints Authority, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
12.Meeran C BorwankarIPS (Retd.)Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
13.Ravi BudhirajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
14.Sundar BurraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
15.R. ChandramohanIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
16.Kalyani ChaudhuriIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
17.Purnima ChauhanIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Administrative Reforms, Youth Services & Sports and Fisheries, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
18.Gurjit Singh CheemaIAS (Retd.)Former Financial Commissioner (Revenue), Govt. of Punjab
19.F.T.R. ColasoIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Karnataka & former Director General of Police, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
20.Anna DaniIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
21.Vibha Puri DasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
22.P.R. DasguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
23.Pradeep K. DebIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
24.M.G. DevasahayamIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
25.A.S. DulatIPS (Retd.)Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI
26.Prabhu GhateIAS (Retd.)Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
27.Arif GhauriIRS (Retd.)Former Governance Adviser, DFID, Govt. of the United Kingdom (on deputation)
28.Suresh K. GoelIFS (Retd.)Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
29.S.K. GuhaIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
30.H.S. GujralIFoS (Retd.)Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
31.Meena GuptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
32.Wajahat HabibullahIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, GoI and former Chief Information Commissioner
33.Deepa HariIRS (Resigned) 
34.Sajjad HassanIAS (Retd.)Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
35.Sanjay KaulIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka
36.Gita KripalaniIRS (Retd.)Former Member, Settlement Commission, GoI
37.Ish KumarIPS (Retd.)Former DGP (Vigilance & Enforcement), Govt. of Telangana and former Special Rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission
38.Sudhir KumarIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal
39.Subodh LalIPoS (Resigned)Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
40.Dinesh MalhotraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
41.Harsh ManderIAS (Retd.)Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
42.Amitabh MathurIPS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
43.Lalit MathurIAS (Retd.)Former Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, GoI
44.Aditi MehtaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
45.Malay MishraIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Hungary
46.Avinash MohananeyIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
47.Satya Narayan MohantyIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
48.Sudhansu MohantyIDAS (Retd.)Former Financial Adviser (Defence Services), Ministry of Defence, GoI
49.Anup MukerjiIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Bihar
50.Deb MukharjiIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
51.Jayashree MukherjeeIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
52.Shiv Shankar MukherjeeIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
53.Gautam MukhopadhayaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Myanmar
54.Sobha NambisanIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary (Planning), Govt. of Karnataka
55.Surendra NathIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Finance Commission, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
56.P. Joy OommenIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhattisgarh
57.Amitabha PandeIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
58.Mira PandeIAS (Retd.)Former State Election Commissioner, West Bengal
59.Maxwell PereiraIPS (Retd.)Former Joint Commissioner of Police, Delhi
60.G.K. PillaiIAS (Retd.)Former Home Secretary, GoI
61.Gurnihal Singh PirzadaIAS (Resigned)Former MD, Punjab State Electronic Development & Production Corporation, Govt. of Punjab
62.Rajesh PrasadIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to the Netherlands
63.R.M. PremkumarIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
64.T.R. RaghunandanIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, GoI
65.N.K. RaghupathyIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
66.V.P. RajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
67.V. Ramani IAS (Retd.)Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra
68.M. RameshkumarIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal
69.K. Sujatha RaoIAS (Retd.)Former Health Secretary, GoI
70.M.Y. RaoIAS (Retd.) 
71.Satwant ReddyIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
72.Vijaya Latha ReddyIFS (Retd.)Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
73.Julio RibeiroIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Punjab
74.Aruna RoyIAS (Resigned) 
75.A.K. SamantaIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal
76.Deepak SananIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
77.G.V. Venugopala SarmaIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha
78.S. SatyabhamaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
79.A. SelvarajIRS (Retd.)Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
80.Abhijit SenguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
81.Aftab SethIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Japan
82.Ashok Kumar SharmaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
83.Pravesh SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
84.Raju SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
85.Rashmi Shukla SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
86.Avay ShuklaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary (Forests & Technical Education), Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
87.Satyavir SinghIRS (Retd.)Former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, GoI
88.Tara Ajai SinghIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka
89.A.K. SrivastavaIAS (Retd.)Former Administrative Member, Madhya Pradesh Administrative Tribunal
90.Prakriti SrivastavaIFoS (Retd.)Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Special Officer, Rebuild Kerala Development Programme, Govt. of Kerala
91.Anup ThakurIAS (Retd.)Former Member, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
92.P.S.S. ThomasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
93.Geetha ThoopalIRAS (Retd.)Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata

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