HC denies relief to Swaraj India for common symbol

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday denied Swaraj India's plea for a common symbol to its candidates in the Delhi municipal elections, saying this will "hinder and create obstacles" in the polls.

Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar in an interim order dismissed Swaraj India's application for a common symbol and held that the court cannot ignore the "practical and functional difficulties". April 3 is the last date for filing nominations for the April 23 election.

"The last date of filing of nominations is April 3. In the given time frame, any interim order/direction would virtually scuttle and cripple the election process set in motion. The principle of balance of convenience mandates that the election as fixed should be conducted smoothly without any obstruction and hindrance," said the bench.

It added: "We cannot ignore the practical and functional problems which would arise. These would hinder and create obstacles in conduct of free and fair election in a smooth manner. For the aforesaid reasons, we are not inclined to issue any interim order for award of a common election symbol to the appellant in the ensuing municipal elections."

The party's application was dismissed. The division bench also said that grant of a common election symbol would require and mandate comments and objections from different stakeholders.

"The process and award of a common symbol is not an easy and simple exercise, for others could have objections and reservation on allotment from the free symbols," it said.

The interim order came on an application filed along with an appeal by the Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India against a single judge's verdict which had dismissed its plea challenging the Delhi poll panel's decision not to allot a common symbol to it.

The poll panel had said the nominees of such parties would be treated as independent candidates for allotment of symbols.