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Decide in 8 Weeks Notice to Rahul Gandhi Over 'Pickpocket' Jibe at PM: HC to EC

The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking action against Gandhi as well as formulation of guidelines to prevent such "malpractice" by political leaders

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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission of India to take a decision as expeditiously as possible, preferably within eight weeks, on a notice sent it has issued to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his alleged "pickpocket" jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi made during a speech delivered last month.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking action against Gandhi as well as formulation of guidelines to prevent such "malpractice" by political leaders.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan observed that although the alleged statements are "not in good taste", the Election Commission (EC) was examining the matter and has even issued a notice to Gandhi.

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"Considering that deadline for filing reply is over and no reply has been received, the court directs EC to decide the matter as expeditiously as possible preferably within 8 weeks," the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna, ordered.

The court noted that in the notice sent on November 23, the poll panel itself said it will take appropriate action in the matter.

Petitioner Bharat Nagar told the high court that Gandhi made a speech on November 22 levelling "heinous allegations" against individuals holding "highest governmental positions", including the prime minister and referred to him as a "pick-pocket".

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