Mumbai: A complaint was on Sunday filed with the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) against Shiv Sena MP and editor of party mouthpiece Saamna, Sanjay Raut, for his remarks that voting rights of Muslims should be revoked as the community has often been used to play vote bank politics.

Delhi-based lawyer and civil rights activist Shehzad Poonawalla filed the complaint with the NCM.

In his petition to the Commission, Poonawalla said, “The footage and report provided (in his petition), clearly show that Sanjay Raut advocates the revocation of voting rights for Muslims in India. This similar demand of disenfranchisement of Muslims in India had been made by Subramanian Swamy in 2011 and the Commission had sought penal action against the former.”

“It is in flagrant violation of the Constitutional Guarantee of Right to Freedom of Religion and the Right to Vote granted for every citizen irrespective of his race, religion, caste, class and creed and also of section 153 (A), 295 (A), 298, 504, 505 (1) (b) and (c), 505 (2) of IPC 1860 and amounts to deliberately, intentionally and maliciously outraging the religious feelings, inciting hatred and ill-will amongst communities,” the petition stated.

It also amounts to criminal intimidation of Muslims prior to the by-poll election in Maharashtra, it said.

“He (Raut) has made these comments in his capacity as a Rajya Sabha MP, so it also constitutes a violation of the election law. Hence, the election commission should take a stand against it,” Poonawalla said while talking to PTI over phone.

According to the complainant, Raut’s statement is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct put in place by the Election Commission of India.

It also violates section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 which prohibits promotion of enmity between classes in connection with elections and warrants immediate action under the law, he added.

“In light of these circumstances, it is humbly prayed before the NCM to direct the registration of an FIR in the instant case against Sanjay Raut; direct ECI to take appropriate action against Shiv Sena; direct Ministry of Home Affairs to check growing instances of anti-minority hate speech since May 16th 2014,” the petition stated.  

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