NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea of former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging a Delhi High Court order granting the “two leaves” symbol to a faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the Election Commission of India (EC) on the limited plea of Dhinakaran that they be allowed to use common 'Pressure Cooker' symbol. The bench, comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna sought reply by March 25.
Appearing for Dhinakaran, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that EC is not giving them a common symbol. He said the SC was directed to allot “pressure cooker” as a common symbol to the party. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami led faction said, “I am the real AIADMK and he (Dhinakaran) has already floated a new party.” The bench said that it will hear the matter on March 25. The SC had on February 28, dismissed the pleas of Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging the Elections Commission's order granting the AIADMK head and the two leaves symbol to the faction led by the TN chief minister, saying the figures showed the Palaniswami-led group “enjoyed a clear majority”.
It had upheld the EC's decision of November 23, 2017, saying none of the grounds of challenge raised by the Dhinakaran-Sasikala faction were made out and there was “no infirmity” in the poll panel's order allotting the party name and symbol to the group led by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
After the high court order was pronounced, Dhinakaran and Sasikala had urged the court 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 top court and seek an appropriate relief from there. The EC had thereafter had agreed not to allot the symbol to anyone for next 15 days in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.