Why should TTV, VKS not be allotted symbol: SC asks EC

Last Updated 25 March 2019, 11:16 IST

The Election Commission on Monday told the Supreme Court that a political group not registered as a party cannot claim a symbol, common to all the candidates belonging to it.

The poll panel's response came as the top court quizzed its top official as to why Tamil Nadu leaders T T V Dhinakaran and V K Sasikala be not allotted 'pressure cooker' symbol to the party led by them.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also expressed its displeasure as to why the poll panel had not filed its affidavit to the petitions filed by Dhinakaran and Sasikala.

Dhinakaran had this month floated a new party 'Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam' after his rival E K Palaniswami-O Panneerselvam faction was declared as the 'real' AIADMK party with ‘two leaves’ election symbol.

Advocate Amit Sharma, representing the EC, submitted that as per the rules and statues, a group cannot claim a common symbol for its candidates if it was not registered as a political party.

The court gave the EC time till Monday evening to file its affidavit and put the matter for consideration on Tuesday at 10.30 am.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M S Singhvi, appearing for Dhinakaran and Sasikala, contended that the matter should be taken up Monday itself as Tuesday was the last date for filing of nomination papers.

The court had earlier agreed to examine their plea limited to the allotment of 'common symbol'.

Dhinakaran and Sasikala challenged the validity of the February 28 Delhi High Court judgment which upheld the Election Commission decision to recognise the rival E K Palaniswami-O Panneerselvam faction as the 'real' AIADMK party worthy of the ‘two leaves’ election symbol.

In their plea, Dhinakaran and Sasikala sought a stay on the EC's decision of November 2017 to allot his rival group the ‘two leaves’ symbol. He also sought a direction to the poll panel to allot his group the common symbol ‘pressure cooker’.

He contended a faction, which has attempted to amend the basic rules and regulations of the AIADMK, could not be recognised as the true heirs of the party.

Dhinakaran contended that both the EC and the high court failed to consider the test of adherence to the party constitution.

He claimed to enjoy the support of the rank and file of the AIADMK party.

“Whereas the rival leaders, by their own admission, had said they had the support of only 11 MLAs out of 134 and support of 12 MPs out of 50,” he claimed.

(Published 25 March 2019, 10:56 IST)

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