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A Delhi court today issued notice to the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections (DGE) and others on a batch of election petitions challenging the symbols alloted to the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi). The petitions have alleged that these are religious parties not registered under the Societies Registration Act.
One of the 11 petitions has been filed by Sangat Singh of Panthak Sewa Dal who has lost the election.
Twelve similar petitions have also been filed in the court which has issued notice to the parties.
Additional District Judge Kamini Lau issued summons to the parties on the suits for March 20 and directed the DGE to take necessary steps to preserve the records relating to ward elections which are under challenge and produce these in court as and when directed.
The court said a competent officer of the DGE shall appear before it along with the records relating to the allocation/ allotment of the reserved symbols to the recognised religious parties and information on their registration under the Societies Registration Act.
"In the meanwhile, all proceedings conducted pursuant to declaration of results of the elections dated February 26 shall be subject to the outcome of the election petitions," the court said.
A total of 23 such election petitions have been filed challenging the results of 23 wards.
The petitions, filed through advocates Inder Chand and Siddhartha Nanwal (EDs: correct), have said the winning candidates belonged to SAD (Delhi) and Shiromani Akali Dal "which are religious parties but have not been registered under the Societies Registration Act".
The advocates argued that the DGE improperly allocated the reserved symbols to the candidates sponsored by the parties not registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860.
SAD and SAD (Delhi) had been allotted reserved symbols of 'bucket' and 'car' respectively.
The plaintiffs have said they had contested the elections as candidates of the Panthak Seva Dal, claiming it was a registered religious party with the DGE and was alloted reserved symbol of 'kisan driving tractor'.
The suits have claimed that candidates of SAD and SAD (Delhi) were alloted reserved symbols despite the fact that the parties were not eligible to be recognised as religious parties under rule 14 of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (Election of Members) Rules. These have alleged the DGE and the returning officers of the wards had "acted illegally, arbitrarily and contrary to the mandate of law while allotting reserved symbols" to the candidates of the two parties . "There is a grave threat that the election records of the elections held on February 26, 2017 may be tempered, manipulated and fabricated. For the fair play and justice, it is desirable that these be preserved and entire election records in question be seized," the suits have said.