The Madras High Court will pronounce orders on March 25 on a writ petition filed by the AIADMK challenging a portion of an Election Commission communication pertaining to painting of leaves on small buses in Chennai.
The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice M.M. Sundresh, fixed the date for passing orders after hearing arguments of counsel.
When the matter came up, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar, in his affidavit filed through EC counsel G. Rajagopalan, submitted that the Commission was of the view that since the AIADMK had the symbol of ‘two leaves,’ the painting of leaves on small buses might cause confusion in the minds of voters.
Hence, to ensure a level playing field for all political parties and in the interest of free and fair elections, it was decided that the painting of leaves on government buses, which had been done at government cost, should be suitably covered during the currency of the model code of conduct.
Objecting to this clause, the AIADMK, represented by its general secretary Jayalalithaa, filed the writ petition seeking to quash it. The petitioner’s counsel, R. Muthukumarasamy, said the painting was not put up for the elections.
It was done much prior to the issue of election notification. The DMK’s counsel, R. Viduthalai, said there should be a level playing field for political parties in the election.