Political party symbols challenged in High Court

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 03:00 hrs

Lucknow, July 24 (IANS) A writ petition has been filed before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court seeking quashing of symbols allotted to political parties.

Filed Tuesday by social activist Nutan Thakur, the petition says that the Election Commission has provided "permanent election symbols to national and state recognised political parties under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968."

She contends that this was against rules five and 10 of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961, which clearly says that symbols shall be provided by the returning officers only at the time of elections. "This is clearly a breach of laid down rules and regulations and hence I have appealed before the court on the matter," the petitioner told IANS.

By doing so, the Election Commission was "giving undue favour to recognised parties and distorts the level playing field". The petition also says that dozens of election symbols like hand, clock, book, ceiling fan, chair and table are against Section 130 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951, which says that no election-related sign shall be placed anywhere within a 100 metre periphery of the polling booth, while these symbols are always present in polling booths.

The petitioner has prayed for the quashing the party symbols and illegal election symbols allotted to such political parties as well. The petition is likely to be taken up by the court next week.

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