Delhi HC issues notice to ECI on political parties with religious names or symbols

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NEW DELHI, MAY 24: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission (EC) on a petition to review political parties having names with religious connotations or using symbols similar to that of the national flag and to de-register them.
A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice AJ Bhambhani also issued notice to the Centre and posted the case for hearing on July 17.
‘Prejudicial effect’
BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, in his petition filed in public interest, has said that the use of names with religious connotations or symbols similar to the national 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), 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 national flag and de-register them if they fail to change it within 3 months,” the petition said.
Upadhyay has claimed that such a step would help ensure free and fair elections.
In his petition, he has referred to political parties such as the Hindu Sena, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) as examples of names with religious connotations and said this was “against the spirit” of the RPA and the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
“In addition, there are many political parties, 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.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)