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HC defers hearing on parties names with religious connotations

HC defers hearing on parties names with religious connotations

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday deferred the hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the Election Commission to review political parties having names with religious connotations or using symbols similar to that of the national flag.

The court will hear the matter on May 24.

The court was hearing the petition preferred by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who had sought directions to the poll panel to de-register political parties with religious connotations or using symbols similar to that of the national flag, if they do not change them within three months.

Upadhyay has said that the use of names with religious connotations or symbols similar to the national flag or emblem might have a prejudicial effect on the poll prospects of a candidate and would amount to a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951.

“At present there are many political parties such as Hindu Sena, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Indian Union Muslim League etc. with religious, caste, ethnic, linguistic connotations,” the plea said.

“In addition, there are many political parties including the Indian National Congress, which use a flag similar to the national flag, which is also against the spirit of the RPA,” the plea has said.

The petitioner has requested the court to issue a direction to the poll panel to de-register the parties, if they fail to rename and change their flag within three months.

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