Delhi HC reserves Judgement on Uddhav Thackeray’s plea against ECI order

Delhi High court

The Division Bench of the Delhi High on Thursday reserved its Judgement on the petition filed by the former chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, challenging the decision of the Single Bench, which had rejected his appeal of the Election Commission’s decision to freeze the Shivsena political party’s name and symbol (a bow and arrow).
Following a thorough hearing of the arguments, the bench, which was comprised of Chief Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, decided to reserve the order. According to the appeal brought before the Division Bench, the Single Judge did not understand that the Election Commission of India (ECI) proceeded on the presumption that there were two competing groups inside the Shivsena political party when it issued the order dated October 8, 2022.
Election Commission counsel earlier told the court: “This is purely an interim arrangement. The commission will decide the matter after hearing all parties.”
According to the plea made before the Single Bench, ECI has been given broad authority to ensure the efficient operation of our democratic system under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution and the Symbols Order. It is said that a symbol is representative of the party’s ideals and ethos and that ECI should recognise any symbol that accurately captures the ideology, ethos, and objectives of a political party.
The document further noted that as per Rule V of the Shivsena Rules and Regulations, which stipulates that intra-party elections must be held once every five years, the Organizational Elections of the Party for the year 2018–2023 were held on January 23, 2018.
Uddhav Thackeray, the petitioner, was unanimously chosen to serve as the party’s “Shivsena Paksha Pramukh” in the aforementioned elections.
Shivsena was established on June 19, 1966, by the late Balasaheb Thackeray to promote the philosophy and legacy of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 (hence, “Symbols Order”), the Party is a recognised state party, and it has been given the “Bow and Arrow” as its reserved symbol in the State of Maharashtra for electoral reasons.

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