On Monday, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of India to file its reply in a petition filed against the allotment of multiple election symbols to a single political party in the LokSabha Elections 2014. The case was being heard by a bench led by Justice J S Khehar.
The petition had been filed by the Jai MahaBharath party which argued that the 25 candidates who contested in the 2014 General Elections on the party’s ticket had been allotted 13 different election symbols. According to the petitioners, the allotment of so many different electoral symbols had an effect of creating confusion in the minds of voters.
The petitioner prayed for prospective relief, pleading that henceforth, a transparent and efficient mechanism should be devised by the Election Commission to ensure that only electoral symbol is allotted to a political party. Not only will this streamline the process of such allotment, it will help in mitigating confusion and chaos during the time of voting.
Meanwhile, the bench comprising Justice J S Khehar and Justice S A Bobde expressed great disquiet over the issue. Chiding the chief poll regulator, the Supreme Court was aghast as to how the Election Commission, usually in the news for its transparent and efficient practices, could allow such a thing happen.
Sounding a warning to the Commission, the Supreme Court asked it to make sure such a mistake is not repeated again.
by Siddhartha Singh.