MCD polls: HC refuses common symbol to Swaraj India

Delhi-HCThe Delhi High Court today rejected Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India’s plea for allotting a common symbol to its candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar said that allotting them a common symbol for this MCD election would tantamount to disturbing the ongoing election process.

“We are not inclined to issue any interim order for a common election symbol to applicant (Swaraj India) in the ensuing municipal elections,” the bench said, adding that the interim order is tentative and would not be considered as final opinion. MCD elections will be held on April 23.

The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on the pending writ petition on July 18. The court’s interim order came on Swaraj India party’s interim application seeking common symbol for the MCD polls, for which today is the last date of filing nominations. It said that granting interim relief would cripple the entire election process.

The bench also upheld its single-judge order which had found merit in the stand of the Delhi state election commission that Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) would carry photographs of candidates and the party would not have any disadvantage without a common symbol.

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The single judge had on March 29 said since the plea was filed after the polling process was underway, it was very late in the day for the court to interfere. The single judge’s verdict had come on the party’s plea challenging the Delhi poll panel’s decision not to allot a common symbol to it to contest the MCD polls.

Swaraj India had sought quashing of the panel’s March 14, 2017 notification and an April 2016 order which had said that the nominees of such parties would be treated as independent candidates for allotment of symbols.

Swaraj India was floated in October last year by Yadav and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who were expelled from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after they questioned Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.

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