The Delhi High Court Dismisses A Challenge To The Principle of First Come

The Delhi High Court rejected a petition that questioned the decision of the Election Commission to provide free insignia to political parties that are not recognized by the government. The petition challenged the decision to issue free symbols. The decision of the election commission to distribute the insignia on a first come, first served basis was challenged in this case.

The individual who submitted the petition, Naam Tamilar Katchi, stated that the Election Symbols Order related to this matter was both arbitrary and unconstitutional. On the other hand, this argument was dismissed by a bench that was chaired by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and also included Justice Manmeet PS Arora. An opposing viewpoint, according to the bench, would be in direct contravention to the basic spirit of having free symbols accessible to the public.

In light of the fact that the free symbol “ganna kisan” (which translates to “sugarcane farmer”) was awarded to a different political party in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for the next Lok Sabha elections, the petitioner, who is a political party that is not recognized, thought that they were being treated unfairly.

In their appeal, the petitioner contended that the policy was in violation of the Constitution and that the Election Commission ought to provide equal weight to all applications that were submitted within the eligible window time for the assignment of a free symbol. As a consequence of this, the petitioner stated that the group needed to be awarded the ‘ganna kisan' insignia because it has fought six elections on that topic since the year 2019.

In the event that the petition submitted by the petitioner party is granted, this court is of the opinion that it will be in direct contrast to the idea of “free symbols.” It is for this reason that it will deprive political parties that are not recognized of the rights and benefits that are offered to them in order for them to be able to compete in elections using a symbol that is both free and common.

“The petitioner is seeking to retain an advantage for the registered unrecognized political parties to get continued access to a particular free symbol and, as a result, indirectly converting a free symbol into a reserved symbol,” the judge said in a recently handed down verdict. “The petitioner is seeking to do this by using the proposed re-phrasing.”

Within the context of this particular instance, the court took note of the fact that the information concerning the initial date for the receipt of applications was publicized several months in advance. Despite the fact that the petitioner submitted their application for the ‘ganna kisan' emblem on February 9, the successful political party submitted their application on the very first date itself.

“As was mentioned above, the petitioner was fully aware of the ‘first' acceptance date for application, which was the 17th of December, 2023, as well as its significance in the scheme of Paragraph 10B (B) of the Election Symbols Order, and it had utilized the same to its advantage in the past,” according to the court. Consequently, the court issued an order that stated, “We accordingly find no merit in the present petition, and the same is dismissed along with pending applications.” This was the result of the ruling that was made.

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