Delhi HC dismisses Swaraj India plea for common symbol
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today dismissed the plea of Swaraj India for a common symbol in the April 23 MCD polls.
The High Court dismissed the plea of the party, saying since the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would now carry photographs of candidates and it would not be put to any disadvantage if there was no common symbol.
Justice Hima Kohli said as the plea was filed after several steps in the electoral process had started, it was "very late in the day for the court to interfere".
Swaraj India was floated in October last year by Yogendra Yadav and Advocate Prashant Bhushan after being expelled by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for questioning Arvind Kejriwal's leadership.
In February 2017, the party was registered by the Election Commission of India with the contention that the Delhi symbols order was wholly illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and selective and destroying the very fairness of the proposed electoral process itself. It has said that providing it a common symbol will create a level playing field among all the political parties and it has also challenged the February 21, 2017 and March 7, 2017 orders of the poll panel declining the party's request for a common symbol.
The party has contended that the panel rejected its request for a symbol despite a provision in the ECI rules to provide a common symbol to a registered but unrecognised political party like Swaraj India, which is set to make its election debut in the April 23 MCD polls.
The High Court on March 23 had asked the Delhi poll panel whether it intends to give a common symbol to political parties like Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India, which are registered but unrecognised.
The Swaraj India made the submissions to the court on a plea challenging the Commission's decision not to allot a common symbol to Swaraj India to contest the MCD polls. It is submitted that a letter was sent to the Delhi Government to consider amending the rules for allotment of common symbols to register but unrecognised political parties. It is further submitted that non-allotment of a common symbol to a registered party amounted to discrimination as when the first time contesting the election Aam Aadmi Party was granted such a relief.