SC rejects Dhinakaran's plea against EC's hearing on AIADMK symbol

SC rejects Dhinakaran's plea against EC's hearing on AIADMK symbol
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea by T T V Dhinakaran, deputy general secretary of AIADMK against the scheduled hearing before the Election Commission to decide which faction of the party would use two-leave symbol.

“The EC is a constitutional body. It knows how to decide who is authorised to use election symbol. It will follow the procedure,” a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The court, however, rescheduled the proposed hearing of the matter before the EC from 3 pm to 4 pm on Friday. It also fixed the deadline to decide the dispute by November 10 by modifying Madras High Court's order, to do so by October 31.

“The EC has the authority under the Representation of People Act, 1951 and Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 to decide who is entitled to retain the symbol in case of dispute,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Ashok Desai, representing T T V Dinakaran's faction, claiming support of 19 MLAs and six MPs, challenged the High Court's Madurai bench orders of September 15 and October 5. “We have to reply to 10,000 pages of affidavits filed on behalf of the rival faction. We have objections to the time schedule fixed by the HC,” he said.

Appearing for the rival camp led by the E Palanisamy and O Paneerselvam, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi, C S Vaidyanathan, Guru Krishna Kumar and advocate Balaji Srinivasan, contended that apart from over 40 MPs and 130 MLAs, about 2000 district counsel members have filed affidavit, expressing their faith in them. “But he wants the party to remain in flux,” they submitted.

“How the affidavits are to be dealt with or adverted to, need not be entered into in these special leave petitions,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The bench disposed of the petitions by Dinakaran, saying, “We will be failing in our duty, if we do not say that because of the direction issued by the High Court, the EC is likely to perceive that the guillotine must come within the time fixed. We do not so perceive.” 
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