Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks, tagging BJP chief Amit Shah a murder-accused at an election campaign, was not a violation of Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission said today. Mr Gandhi had launched an attack on Mr Shah last month, citing an old murder case in which he was discharged five years ago. He had also cited corruption allegations against Mr Shah's son Jay Shah. A defamation case was also filed against him by a BJP member.
"Murder accused BJP President Amit Shah... waah! kya shaan hai (Wow, how grand)... Have you heard Jay Shah's name? He is a magician, he made Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore in 3 months," Mr Gandhi had said at an election rally in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP had shot off a complaint to the Election Commission, calling it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Today, the Commission said it is "of the considered view that in this matter no such violation of MCC (Model Code of Conduct) is made out".
Mr Shah was named in a case involving the alleged fake encounter of a gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, which took place in 2005. But in 2014, a court had ruled that there was not enough evidence against him to merit a trial.
Last year, the Bombay High Court dismissed a petition against the CBI's decision to not challenge the trial court's order discharging Mr Shah.
Asked about Mr Gandhi's remarks, the BJP chief had said a court established that the case against him was "politically motivated". He also said he didn't "want to comment much on Rahul Gandhi's legal knowledge".
The Election Commission's response in the matter came hours after the Supreme Court ordered it to fast-track the decision-making process on the Congress complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP chief.
The court has given it time till Monday to decide on the pending cases against the two leaders.