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HC seeks Centre's reply on plea over parties with religious connotation

The EC opposed maintainability of the petition, saying the issues raised in it have been taken care of by the poll panel

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Delhi High Court (Photo - PTI)
Delhi High Court (Photo - PTI)

The on Friday sought response of the Centre and Election Commission (EC) on a PIL to review having names with religious connotations or using symbols similar to that of the flag and to de-register them if they do not change them within three months.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajender Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani issued notice to the central government and the EC seeking its stand on the plea by leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The EC opposed maintainability of the petition, saying the issues raised in it have been taken care of by the poll panel.

"Let us see how it has been taken care of," the bench said and listed the matter for hearing on July 17.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, has contended in his plea that use of names with religious connotations or symbols similar to the flag or emblem might prejudicially affect the poll prospects of a candidate and would amount to a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951.

"Review the political parties, registered with religious, caste, ethnic or linguistic connotations and ensure that they are not using a flag, similar to the flag and de-register them if they fail to change it within three months," the plea has said.

The petition has claimed that such a step would help to ensure free and fair elections.

It has referred to such as Hindu Sena, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Indian Union Muslim League as examples of names with religious connotations and said this was "against the spirit" of the RPA and the Model Code of Conduct.

"In addition, there are many including the Indian National Congress, which use a flag similar to the national flag, which is also against the spirit of the RPA," the plea has said.

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 13:10 IST
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