The Madras High Court refused to consider a plea challenging some results of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Elections 2021.

The petitioner, M.L. Ravi, contended that a political party had contested the election on the symbol of another political party, which is impermissible in law.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy held that “the grievance raised by the petitioner cannot be considered in the present writ petitions. The writ petitions, as such, stand disposed of.

Advocate T. Sivagnanasambandan represented the petitioner, while Advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan appeared for the respondents.

The petitioner had argued that an affidavit duly signed by the President/Secretary of the applicant party and sworn before the First Class Magistrate to the effect that no Member of the organisation is a member of any other political party registered with the Election Commission has to be filed. This affidavit has been contested to be false by the petitioner.

However, these arguments were contested on the ground that the members of the political party were affiliated with the party on whose symbol they contested the election. Reference was made to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 of the Election Commission of India that states that a candidate set up by State party at an election in any constituency in a State in which such party is a State party, can choose and would be allotted the symbol reserved for that party in that State and no other symbol.

Article 329B of the Constitution states that challenges to the election of a legislative candidate can solely be made through an election petition, the court noted.

The court observed “In the present case, the disputed questions of fact exist as to whether these persons are members of two political parties or one and at the same time, whether they were the members of the political party on whose symbol they had contested the election and whether they are the members of one political party and contested election on the party symbol of other political party. All these disputed questions of fact cannot be gone into in a writ petition.

The High Court disposed of the writ petitions.

Cause Title: M.L.Ravi v. Chief Election Commissioner & Ors.

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