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HC seeks response of EC, Centre on PIL on names of parties

The Bombay High Court asked the Election Commission of India and the Union Government to file replies within two weeks to a public interest litigation which objects to names of well-known personalities, religions being part of the names of registered political parties.

The matter came up for hearing before the division bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohota.

Petitioner, advocate Chitranjan Kumar has challenged the name of Aam Aadmi Party, among others.

It alleges that parties incorporate names of leaders or religions in titles to gain advantage during the elections, and it is unconstitutional and against the EC guidelines.

With regard to AAP, it says the term Aam Aadmi (common man) is a common political expression and it could not have been used in the name.

Chitranjan had earlier challenged the Aam Aadmi Party’s name before the EC, but EC rejected his plea, so he moved the High Court.

The HC then asked him to amend the petition and include other parties with names incorporating religion or individuals.

The petitioner has cited names of the parties such as Muslim Majlis, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Akhil Bhartiya Muslim League (Secular), All India Christian Democratic & Backward people Party, Indian Union Muslim League, Bharatiya Hindu Sena, Bharatiya Muslim Party, and Hindu Samaj Party, All India BC, OBC party and Adivasi Sena Party.

It also questions the names such as Shiv Sena, Ambedkar Janata Party, Ambedkar Kranti Dal, Socialist Party (Lohia), etc., for incorporating individuals’ names.

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