Uddhav moves Delhi HC against EC order freezing election symbol

The appeal before the Division Bench stated that the single judge failed to appreciate that in passing the order dated October 8, the Election Commission of India (ECI) proceeded on the assumption of the existence of two rival groups within the Shiv Sena
Uddhav Thackeray; Delhi High Court
Uddhav Thackeray; Delhi High CourtPTI

NEW DELHI: Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday moved the Division Bench of Delhi High Court challenging the single bench order, refusing to interfere with the Election Commission order freezing the symbol (Bow and Arrow) and the name 'Shiv Sena'.

The appeal before the Division Bench stated that the single judge failed to appreciate that in passing the order dated October 8, the Election Commission of India (ECI) proceeded on the assumption of the existence of two rival groups within the Shiv Sena.

The single judge failed to appreciate that there is no dispute as to the leadership of the Shiv Sena and therefore, the EC has no jurisdiction to entertain the para 15 Petition, added the petition.

The appeal was moved through Advocates Vivek Singh, Devyani Gupta and Tanvi Anand. The matter is most likely to come up for hearing on December 15, before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.

Last month, a Bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula, while dismissing the plea, directed the EC to decide the dispute as expeditiously as possible.

The writ petition moved by Uddhav sought direction to quash the order passed by the Election Commission on October 8, freezing the election symbol of the Shiv Sena.

The EC's counsel told the court that this was purely an interim arrangement and the Commission will decide the matter after a hearing from all parties.

Earlier, appearing for the Uddhav faction, senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that the party functioning had come to a standstill after the EC freezed the name Shiv Sena and its symbol.

The impugned order is liable to be set aside for the same having been passed in complete violation of principles of natural justice, without granting any hearing to the parties and without granting an opportunity to lead evidence, Sibal argued.

The EC has been vested with powers under Article 324 of the Constitution and the Symbols Order to ensure the effective functioning of our democratic system, the plea said.

It is submitted that a symbol is reflective of the ideas/ethos of the party and the EC should grant recognition of any such symbol which reflects the true ideology, ethos and aspirations of a political party, it added.

The plea further stated that on January 23, 2018, the Organisational Elections of the Party for the term 2018-2023 were held as per Rule V of the Rules and Regulations of Shiv Sena, which mandates intra-party elections to be conducted once in five years. In the said elections, the Petitioner/Uddhav Thackeray was unanimously elected as the Shiv Sena Paksha Pramukh of the Party.

The Shiv Sena party was founded by Late Balasaheb Thackeray on June 19, 1966, to espouse the ideology and legacy of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Party is a recognised state party under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 (hereinafter, 'Symbols Order'), and has been allotted 'Bow and Arrow' as its reserved symbol in the State of Maharashtra for the purposes of elections.

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