Friday, June 14, 2024

Delhi High Court refuses to stay order declining Uddhav plea against party name, symbol freeze

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The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to stay its single judge order, which dismissed a plea filed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray against the Election Commission’s decision to freeze his Shiv Sena’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol.

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, held: “There shall be no stay on the proceedings before the Election Commission of India. Therefore, the Election Commission of India is free to proceed with the adjudication of the dispute pending before it.”

“It is needless to state that the Election Commission of India will proceed in accordance with the procedure followed by the Commission while adjudicating a petition under Para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968,” it added. The HC had, on December 15, reserved its order on the same matter. Thackeray had approached the High Court on December 13 against its single-judge bench order rejecting his plea against Election Commission’s decision to freeze Shiv Sena’s name and symbol.

On November 15, Justice Sanjeev Narula had dismissed Thackeray’s petition holding that there was no interdiction by the Supreme Court regarding the proceedings to be conducted by the EC. The EC had directed both Thackeray and Eknath Shinde to restrain from using the same name or symbol till the official recognition is finally decided on October 8.

They were alloted different symbols for the recent Andheri East bypoll. Thackeray had appealed that EC had assumed that there are two factions of Shiv Sena party while passing the freezing order. Moreover, he had claimed that it cannot be said that there are two factions in the party as he remains “rightfully elected President”, which was admitted even by Shinde.

“The observation of the Ld. Single Judge that both the appellant and the respondent No. 2 claim to be the President of the original Shiv Sena party is factually incorrect, as the respondent No. 2 in para 3 of his para 15 petition filed before respondent No. 1 himself states that the appellant herein is, and continues to be the Shivsena Pramukh (President/Pramukh) of the Shiv Sena political party,” the appeal stated.

He had stated that the EC has exercised its jurisdiction without taking note of the disqualification proceedings pending before the top court against Shinde. “Single-judge failed to appreciate that the question of disqualification of Respondent No.2 (Shinde) is still pending adjudication before the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the action of Respondent No 1 (ECI) is premised on an underlying assumption that the Hon’ble Supreme Court will decide in favour of Respondent No. 2,” he had said.

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