The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Election Commission of India in a petition seeking banning of political parties with religious, ethnic, linguistic or casteist connotations.
The petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya cites the examples of parties like Hindu Sena, All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Indian Union Muslim League etc. The petition also adds that parties such as Indian National Congress has a flag similar to the national flag.
The petitioner relies on Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People's Act, 1951 which makes appeal to votes on the grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language, national symbols, such as national flag or national emblem etc, is a corrupt practice.
Allowing parties to have such names and symbols affect free and fair elections, argued the petitioner.
Therefore, the petitioner sought a direction to order the de-registering of such parties if they fail to rename themselves within a period of three months.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambhani has directed the ECI to give its response before July 17, the next posting date.