How will EC decide on the party symbol in case of conflict?

Everything You need to know about party symbol dispute

Under what authority does the EC decide such disputes?

The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols. Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.

What is the legal status of Paragraph 15?

Under Paragraph 15, the EC is the only authority to decide issues on a dispute or a merger. The Supreme Court upheld its validity in Sadiq Ali and another vs. ECI in 1971.

What does the EC consider before recognising one group as the official party?

The ECI primarily ascertains the support enjoyed by a claimant within a political party in its organisational wing and in its legislative wing.

How does the ECI establish a claim of the majority?

The Commission examines the party’s constitution and its list of ocebearers submitted when the party was united. It identifies the apex committee(s) in the organisation and finds out how many office-bearers, members or delegates support the rival claimants. For the legislative wing, the party goes by the number of MPs and MLAs in the rival camps. It may consider affadavits filed by these members.

What ruling does the EC give when it is able to record a definite finding?

The ECI may decide the dispute in favor of one faction by holding that it commands enough support in its organisational and legislative wings to be entitled to the name and symbol of the recognised party. The other group can register itself as a separate party.

What happens when there is no certainty about the majority of either faction?

Where the party is either vertically divided or it is not possible to say which group has a majority, the EC may freeze the party symbol and allow the groups to register themselves with new names or add prefixes or suxes to the party’s existing names.

Can the dispute relating to SP be decided quickly?

The EC may take the time to gather enough material to decide the question. For immediate electoral purposes, it may freeze the party’s symbol and advise the groups to fight the elections in dierent names and on temporary symbols.

What if rival factions settle their differences in future?

The claimants may approach the EC again and seek to be recognised as a unified party.


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