Allahabad High Court issues notice to election commission in plea challenging use of election symbols post elections

Challenge to Election Commission’s Power of Alloting Symbols

On Wednesday, the Allahabad High Court issued notice on a PIL raising issues relating the ‘misuse’ of ‘reserved election symbols’ allotted by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the contesting candidates.

Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Piyush Agrawal have granted time to the counsel appearing on behalf of ECI to examine the entire issue involve and file a counter to the same

Under Para 5 of the Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a reserved election symbol is a symbol that is reserved for a recognized political party for “exclusive allotment to contesting candidates”.

Petitioner submitted that election symbol is required to be allotted to a contesting candidate to be used only and only for the election purpose and not otherwise. He had objected the use of such election symbols by the political parties, even after elections.

“Under the Representation of People Act as well as under the Order of 1968, the concept of election symbols is applicable only for the purpose of elections and such symbols cannot be used as a logo of any political party. The life of election symbols, even reserved symbol with a contesting candidate- may that be of a recognized political party, is only for a specific election and the same symbol can be allotted to a contesting candidate of other recognized political party or to a contesting candidate (independent) in other elections,” the Petitioner’s counsel argued.

It was urged that necessary directions be issued to the Commission for freezing the reserved election symbol and further, to the recognized political parties for not misusing the symbols reserved.

The Court fixed the case for hearing on January 12, 2021. Liberty was granted to implead nationalized political parties that may be concerned with the case.


Case Title: Kali Shankar v. Election Commission of India & Anr.

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