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Judiciary

SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group

By Jhanak Singh      20 March, 2024 12:55 PM      0 Comments
SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the Election Commission's order of granting 'Clock' symbol to Ajit Pawar group, and allowed the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar Group) to use a 'man blowing a turha' symbol for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Vishwanathan asked EC to reserve the 'man blowing a turha' symbol for the Sharad Pawar faction and said it should not allot it to any other party or candidate, till the court decided the plea of Sharad Pawar-led group.

The court directed the Ajit Pawar faction to issue a public notice in English, Hindi, and Marathi media mentioning in all of its campaign advertisements that the 'clock' symbol allotted to it is subject to the adjudication of the plea filed by Sharad Pawar-led faction pending before the top court.

In July 2023, the NCP was split into two groups after Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit, along with a number of MLAs joined the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra.

During the hearing, the court expressed concern over the current trend of defection in political parties being recognised as the real party by the Election Commission.

"When the Election Commission is recognising a faction only on basis of legislative strength and not organisational strength, is it not recognising a split, which is no longer approved under the Tenth Schedule. That way, you can engineer defections and claim the party symbol. Will it be not mockery of voters," the bench said.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi on behalf of Sharad Pawar group questioned the Election Commission's decision to recognise Ajit Pawar group as the real party.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Ajit Pawar group said there was no question of defection as the EC recognised Ajit's group as the official NCP.

On March 14, the court had asked the Ajit Pawar group of Nationalist Congress Party as to why it was keen to use photo of Sharad Pawar in posters in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections after parting ways with the founder of the party.

Sharad Pawar had challenged the Election Commission's decision of February 6, recognising the group by Ajit Pawar as the NCP and awarding it party symbol of 'Clock'.
 



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