Chennai: In a huge relief for four MPs and eight MLAs, who were elected from Tamil Nadu on symbols of other recognised parties, the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to declare their election as null and void on a technical ground.
The elected representatives belonged to smaller registered political parties, which do not have a dedicated election symbol.
A candidate of a registered political party had moved the High Court seeking to declare their elections as null and void. He argued that by contesting on the symbols of the recognised political parties, these candidates enjoyed undue advantage over candidates of registered parties, which did not have a dedicated symbol. The voters were more familiar with the symbols of the recognised parties, he had submitted.
4 MPs were elected on DMK's rising sun symbol
While the four MPs originally belonged to Vaiko’s MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Indiya Jananayaga Katchi, and Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi, all of them were elected on the DMK’s ‘rising sun’ symbol in 2019. Likewise among the eight legislators, one was elected on the AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol and the rest on the DMK symbol.
However, during the course of arguments in the case, some of the MPs had argued that they had resigned from their respective parties and joined the DMK before the elections. The very fact that they contested on the ‘rising sun’ symbol would establish that they had taken membership of the DMK, they submitted.
HC disposes off PILs
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy, on Tuesday disposed of the public interest litigation petitions. The bench took the position that disputed questions of fact, with respect to the party to which the elected representatives belonged, could not be gone into in writ jurisdiction.
The court took this line as the Election Commission of India had submitted that the Returning Officers perform a quasi judicial act of accepting or rejecting nominations of candidates and their election could be challenged only by way of an election petition and not a writ petition.