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Delhi HC dismisses appeal by Samata Party challenging ECI’s decision to reserve election symbol Flaming Torch

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Delhi High Court Election Commission of India
Image: PTI

The Division Bench of Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal moved by one Samata Party challenging the Election Commission of India’s decision to reserve the election symbol “Flaming Torch” for Shiv Sena Party led by Uddhav Thackeray for the upcoming Andheri East Assembly bypoll.

Samta Party had approached the Division Bench challenging the single bench order rejecting its petition

The Division Bench headed by Delhi’s Chief Justice Satish Chander Sharma also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad found no fault in the single bench order and dismissed it on Thursday

Recently, the ECI had allotted the ‘Flaming Torch’ symbol to the Uddhav group to be used in the upcoming Andheri East bypoll.

Earlier, the single bench, while passing the order, noted that the Petitioner/Samata Party was declared unrecognised by the Election Commission in 2004.

The Petitioner Party claimed that it was declared unrecognised by the Election Commission in the year 2004, but it was recognised as a national party.

The symbol “Flaming Torch” was reserved for Samta Party and Samta Party is contesting elections constantly and in future, it may gain its recognition as a recognised party, then how can the symbol be given to some other party, stated the plea.

The plea further stated that the Samata Party (SAP) petitioner organisation is a political party in India, initially formed in 1994 by George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar.

 It was an offshoot of the Janata Dal. The party has socialist leanings, and at one point wielded considerable political and social influence in North India, particularly in Bihar.

The plea also stated that the decision of the Election Commission of India whereby it allotted the symbol of ‘Flaming Torch’ to Shiv Sena is erroneous.

The Election Commission of India in the Impugned order dated 10.10.2022 itself states that the symbol “Flaming Torch” is not in the list of free symbol as it is reserved for Samata Party.

Because of the decision of the Election Commission declaring the erstwhile reserved symbol of the Samata Party to Shiv Sena the petitioner/party has been left without any symbol and, therefore, unable to ventilate their political aspirations in the upcoming bye-elections, the plea read.

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