The Apex Court, today, reiterated the previous interim order dated March 19, 2024, and directed both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar to strictly abide by the order.

Previously, the Court had directed Sharad Pawar to be entitled to use the name “Nationalist Congress Party - Sharadchandra Pawar” to contest the ensuing Parliamentary and State Assembly Elections along with the symbol of “Man Blowing Turha”. The Court also directed that the symbol shall not be allotted to any other political party or an independent candidate, and the same shall not be used in any manner by the respondents to set up their candidates for the ensuing elections.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan observed, “In our considered view, there is no necessity to modify the directions contained in the order dated March 19. Sufficiently, we reiterate that the Petitioner, Office-bearers shall abide by the direction in terms whereof the Petitioner has been permitted to use the the party symbol.” (To Respondents) “Office-bearers of the political party and their workers are obligated to meticulously comply with the directions. Mr Rohatgi fairly agreed to issue public notices with more prominent space in the newspapers. He has also assured that office-bearers, candidates, and supporters of the first respondent shall be sensitized to ensure that there is no defiance of the Court's Order.”

Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Sharad Pawar and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Ajit Pawar.

Singhvi argued that the advertisements and publications by the Ajit Pawar Party used the symbol sub judice. Per Contra, Rohatgi submitted that the party was just using the symbol and not the name i.e. “Nationalist Congress Party - Sharadchandra Pawar”. Rohatgi agreed to issue a public notice in a conspicuous part of the newspaper and assured that there was no defiance of the Court’s Order.

The Court also directed Pawar to ensure that the party workers and supporters shall not act in defiance of the directions given.

Previously, the Court had also ordered, “The respondents are further directed to issue a public notice in the newspapers with Marathi, Hindi and English editions, notifying that the allocation of the “clock” symbol is sub-judice before this Court and the respondents have been permitted to use the same subject to the final outcome of these proceedings. Such a declaration shall be incorporated in every pamphlet, advertisement, audio, or video clips to be issued on behalf of the respondents.”

Cause Title: Sharad Pawar v. Ajit Anantrao Pawar & Anr. (SLP (C) No(s).4248/2024)