Dhinakaran, Sasikala's plea for AIADMK name, symbol rejected

Saturday 02nd March 2019 06:16 EST

NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has dismissed the pleas of TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging the Election Commission's order granting the AIADMK name and two leaves symbol to the faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami. A bench of justices GS Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal upheld the EC's decision of November 23, 2017, saying none of the grounds of challenge taken by Dhinakaran and Sasikala were sufficient to set aside the poll panel's order.

The court said there was no infirmity in the poll panel's decision to allot the AIADMK name and two leaves symbol to the faction headed by E Palaniswami and his deputy O Paneerselvam. After the order, senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi who appeared for Dhinakaran and Sasikala, urged the bench to direct the EC not to allot the pressure cooker symbol to anyone during the next 15 days so that they have time to move the Supreme Court and seek an appropriate relief from there. Thereafter, the EC agred not to allot the “pressure cooker” symbol to anyone for next 15 days in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The court had on February 8 reserved its decision in the matter after hearing arguments on behalf of the EC and the two factions vying for the AIADMK name and the party symbol.

The bench had said it would deliver the judgment within four weeks in view of the February 7 SC order that the EC can decide Dhinakaran's plea for an interim poll symbol, if the high court's decision does not come within four weeks. Dhinakaran had floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) after he and Sasikala were expelled from the E Palaniswami-led AIADMK. The top court had on February 7 also vacated its order of abeyance on the high court's interim decision of March 9, 2018 directing the EC to allot a common symbol, preferably that of a “pressure cooker”, and a name to the the then AIADMK (Amma) faction led by Dhinakaran.

The SC said that since the matter was pending before the high court for final adjudication, there was just no reason as to why the interim arrangement of allotting “pressure cooker” symbol by the poll panel ought not to continue. The order had come on an application filed by Dhinakaran for a direction to the EC for allocating his group a common symbol, preferably “pressure cooker”, as a by-election to fill the vacant assembly seat of Thiruvarur in Tamil Nadu had been announced for January 28. Later, the by-election to Thiruvarur seat was rescinded by a notification issued by the EC on January 6.

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