Kerala HC upholds EC order on ‘Two Leaves’ symbol favouring KC(M) Jose faction

Jose K. Mani along and his supporters in Kottayam. File photo  

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld a single judge's verdict upholding the Election Commission's order declaring a group led by Jose K Mani as the official Kerala Congress (M) and granting it the official election symbol of ‘Two Leaves’.

The Bench led by Chief Justice S. Manikumar passed the judgment while dismissing an appeal filed by P.J. Joseph, leader of the breakway Kerala Congress faction and others against the single judge's verdict.

The single judge had refused the plea of Mr. Joseph for interfering with the Election Commission's order, holding that the conclusions arrived at by the Election Commission were based on materials available before it.

The Commission by a 2:1 majority had held that the group led by Jose K. Mani was the official Kerala Congress (Mani) and "is entitled to use the name and the reserved symbol ‘Two Leaves’ for the purpose of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968".The Commisssion had found that there were differences in the lists of State Committee members submitted before it and created a list of 305 members who were common in both the lists and applied a majority test.

Mr. Joseph contended that the Commission had committed a mistake by straightaway going to test the majority without considering the test of the constitution. The majority test was conducted with a truncated body and was based on defective and irrelevant affidavits given by Mr. Jose.

Mr. Joseph also submitted that the Election Commission had no right to allot a party to a person. The only jurisdiction vested with it was to allot symbols to a party. Besides, the Commission had not been authorised or empowered to decide internal issues of the party. The issue of name did not come under the symbol law. The party had acquired the name as per the provisions of the constitution of it and it forms the property of the party. After registration under Section 29A of the Representation of Peoples Act, the State Committee of the party had powers to amend its constitution. The Commission should not have passed an order indirectly reversing a civil court order recognising him as chairman of the party. He was the elected working chairman of the party, discharging the functions and exercising the powers of chairman following the Constitution of the party, he further contended.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 7:48:50 AM |

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