'Clock' symbol case: Ajit Pawar faction to put disclaimer in all ads as SC refuses to modify order

The Ajit Pawar faction alleged that the Sharad Pawar group was still using the 'clock' symbol. T
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 14:19 IST
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 14:19 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to modify its March 19 order, directing the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to put a disclaimer in publicity materials that allocation of 'clock' symbol to it was sub judice.

In its previous order, the Ajit Pawar will have to meticulously make the declaration in every advertisement material, audio and video clips.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Ajit Pawar faction, “Let us be very clear that we are not modifying the order (passed on March 19). We have no doubt about the bona fide of the parties. You can issue bigger advertisements. Plus, we understand difficulty at the grassroots level, but your office bearers should understand".

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, for the Sharad Pawar faction, sought action against Ajit Pawar faction citing wilful violation of court order and opposed the application for modifying the order.

Ajit Pawar faction contended before the court that the Sharad Pawar faction is spreading that the apex court had already made up its mind that the grant of clock symbol to Ajit Pawar faction is illegal.

In its order, the bench said that in its considered view there is no necessity to modify the directions given on March 19. The bench stressed that it is suffice to clarify and reiterate that the petitioner and party office bearers and workers supporters shall abide by directions in para 3 of the order.

“The respondents, the office bearers of the political party, the workers are obligated to meticulously follow directions contained in the order," the bench said.

The court also recorded that Rohatgi has agreed to issue the public notices with more prominent space in newspapers and assured that the office bearers, candidates, shall be sensitised that there is no defiance of directions of this court given on March 19.

The Ajit Pawar faction alleged that the Sharad Pawar group was still using the 'clock' symbol. The apex court directed that the Sharad Pawar group, its party office bearers, workers, and supporters to only use the name "NCP (Sharad Pawar)" and the symbol "man blowing turha (trumpet)".

"In other words, the applicant-petitioner (Sharad Pawar) or supporters shall not use the symbol clock," the bench said. 

One application was moved by the Sharad Pawar group, which alleged non-compliance of the court order by the Ajit Pawar group, and the other application by Ajit Pawar's faction seeking to modify a requirement in the order regarding disclaimers in every “pamphlet, advertisement, audio, or video clips issued”.

The apex court, on March 19, had directed the Ajit Pawar-led faction to issue a public notice in the newspapers in English, Hindi, and Marathi editions notifying that the allocation of 'clock' symbol is sub judice before the court and the respondent have been permitted to use the same subject to final outcome of these proceedings.

Published 04 April 2024, 14:19 IST

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