Delhi HC seeks EC response on plea for common symbol in Bihar polls

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Election Commission of India on a plea moved by the Plurals Party to use a common Election Symbol of Chess Board for the Bihar Legislative Assembly Election, 2020.

A bench of Justice Jayant Nath issued a notice to the respondent regarding the allotment of common symbol and directed it to file its reply within four weeks in the matter, and asked the petitioner to file their counter-affidavit within one week thereafter.

The matter is slated to come up for hearing before the bench on December 21. Meanwhile, the candidates of the said party members can contest the election on free symbol only.

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Pushpam Priya Chaudhary, President of the Plurals Party through party general secretary, had recently approached the High Court stated that allotment of a common symbol to a Political Party plays a crucial and significant role in a vibrant and healthy democracy like India.

“There is special importance of a common Election Symbol, as it is these pictorial representations, which help the electoral identify candidates of their choice. In a country like India where the electorate belongs to diverse social and economic backgrounds, a common election symbol promotes a feeling of unity,” the plea said.

Advocates Amit Kumar Sharma and Satyam Singh Rajput, counsel for the petitioner, have submitted that the petitioner is aggrieved by the fact that despite following the law, rules and regulations for the registration of political parties the respondent has registered the political party of the petitioner on October 13, 2020.

“Prime objective of the registration on time of the said political party was to contest the State Elections of Bihar, 2020. However, the last date for filing the nomination for the first phase of the election already got expired on October 8, 2020, and the petitioner has been running from post to pillar but no avail,” the plea said.

“The Election Commission of India in the press note dated October 8 gave relaxation and reduced notice period from 30 days to 7 days for the parties, which have published the public notice on or before October 7,” it added.

The plea also mentioned that the relaxation will remain to enforce till October 20, 2020, the last date for nomination for phase three of the general election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

“The petitioner was denied the opportunity of this relaxation announced by the respondent as a result, of which its candidates were constrained to file nomination for the first phase of the election as independent candidates owing to the facts that the last date to file the nominations for the first phase of Bihar election was October 8,” the plea said.

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