New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday allowed leaders of “unrecognized" All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) faction, T.T.V. Dhinakaran and Sasikala, to function under an interim party name and symbol, till the dispute over the use of AIADMK name and “two leaves" party symbol between the two AIADMK factions is decided by the court.
Justice Palli directed the Election Commission to pass an appropriate order within three weeks, allowing Dhinakaran and his faction to use a common symbol, preferably “pressure cooker", and use the name of their choice, after giving them an appropriatehearing.
Upholding Dhinakaran and his faction’s right to seek the use of a common name and symbol by way of an interim arrangement, Justice Rekha Palli, in the judgement, said compelling Dhinakaran and his faction to register as a new political party and then apply for a symbol was unacceptable.
Justice Palli further said there was no reason why a “non-identical" symbol, which would not prejudice the rival AIADMK faction lead by Tamil Nadu chief minister E.K. Palaniswami, should not be granted.
Dhinakaran had moved the Delhi high court on 25 January, seeking permission to function under a different party name and symbol, in the light of the upcoming local body elections in Tamil Nadu.
Justice Palli had reserved the order on 19 February after hearing counsels appearing for Dhinakaran, Sasikala, Tamil Nadu chief minister E.K. Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam, and the Election Commission.
Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Dhinakaran and Sasikala, had argued for the allotment of any one of the three proposed names—All India Amma Anna Dhravidar Munnetra Kazhagam, MGR Amma Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam and MGR Amma Dhravidar Kazhgam—along with the election symbol of a “pressure cooker"on an ad-hoc basis, so that it could campaign for any prospective elections in Tamil Nadu.
Mukul Rohtagi and K.V. Vishwanathan, appearing for Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, had objected to any such allotment of party name and symbol to the rival faction on the grounds that it was beyond the scope of the high court’s authority. Only the Election Commission could do so after a political group applied for registration, they argued.
The present matter is part of Dhinakaran and Sasikala’s main plea, challenging a 23 November order of Election Commission.
The Commission had, through the 23 November order, allotted the “two leaves" symbol to the faction led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam on the grounds that they enjoyed the support of the majority of members in the legislative and organizational wing.