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SC dismiss review plea against verdict refusing pressure cooker' symbol to TTV Dhinakaran faction


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition against the last year's verdict which had dashed the hopes of a faction led by former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran for getting the 'pressure cooker' symbol exclusively for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and assembly by-polls, but asked the Election Commission to allot a common free symbol to it.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said, We have perused the Review Petition and the connected papers. We do not find any error in the order impugned, much less an apparent error on the face of the record, so as to call for its review. The Review Petition is, accordingly, dismissed.
The review petition filed by V K Sasikala, a close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief late J Jayalalithaa, was taken in chambers on April 23 but the order was uploaded on apex court website on Thursday.
The top court on March 26, last year had refused to grant pressure cooker' symbol to a faction led by Dhinakaran and asked the Election Commission to allot a common free symbol to it.
The top court had said to "ensure a level playing field" among the contesting political parties in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and by-election in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, it has directed the poll panel to allot a common free symbol to the group.
The order had come on the last day of filing of nomination papers for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in 40 seats and assembly by-elections on 19 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The bench headed by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had made it clear that if candidates fielded by Dhinakaran-led group win the elections in the Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls, "they will be treated as independent candidates".
"The claim of the appellant to the symbol of 'pressure cooker' in an exclusive manner cannot be acknowledged in view of the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India thereunder, which the appellant or his group has concededly not followed.
"We are, therefore, not inclined to grant any recognition to the appellant or his group to the symbol of 'pressure cooker'," the bench had said.
It had taken on record the list of names of 59 candidates, marked as 'X', to be fielded by Dhinakaran led group in the Lok Sabha elections and assembly by-elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
"The EC on due and proper satisfaction that the candidates named in the document marked with the letter 'X' (list of names) want to contest the election under any one common symbol, will make all endeavour to ensure that in the forthcoming elections..., the aforesaid candidates be allotted any one particular free symbol," the bench had said.
The top court had clarified, that its order will not amount to recognition of the group or its any part as a political party whether "registered" or "unregistered" and only election commission can take a decision in that regard as and when required.
Dhinakaran had challenged a Delhi High Court order granting the 'two leaves' symbol to the AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami on the limited aspect of allowing use of 'pressure cooker' as a common symbol.
On February 28, last year the high court had dismissed the pleas of Dhinakaran and Sasikala challenging the EC order granting 'AIADMK' name and 'two leaves' symbol to Palaniswami led faction.

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First Published: Apr 30 2020 | 5:42 PM IST

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