Poll panel gets notice on party recongnition, symbol rule

November 25th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to the Election Commission on a lawsuit questioning the legality of its rule for recognising a political outfit as state-level party and allotting a fixed election symbol to it.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued notice on a lawsuit filed by popular Tamil actor-turned-state legislator Vijayakant, who had won the Virudhachalam seat of the Tamil Nadu assembly in 2006 elections.

The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order of the Election Commission stipulated that a political outfit would be recognised as a state-level party if, and only if, it has secured at least six percents of the total votes polled in the state, besides winning at least two seats in the last general assembly elections.

In his petition to the apex court, Vijayakant said his party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam had secured 8.33 percent of the total votes polled in the state in the 2006 assembly election though it had been able to win merely one seat - that of his own.

He said his party had set up a total of 232 candidates for the 234-seat assembly and his candidates had polled a total of 2,746,900 votes.

The actor contended in his petition that there is no definite and scientific relation between the seats won and votes secured by a party in a democracy adopting the “first-past-the-post” system of election.

Citing examples of the votes polled and seats won by two other parties, the ruling DMK and the main opposition AIADMK in the state, the actor sought to prove the lack of any scientific relation between the votes polled and seats won by a party in an election.

The actor pleaded to the court to scrap the Election Commission rule for allotting the fixed symbols to the political parties and sought its recognition as a state-level party.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal asserted that the actor’s party would come to the power in the state after the next assembly elections.

At this, the bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, observed that if he was so confident of sweeping the polls, why was he bothered about recognition and the election symbol.

The bench, however, entertained the actor’s petition and issued notice to the poll panel, seeking its reply.

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