SC asks NCP’s Ajit Pawar faction to give details of ads issued in compliance of its order on clock symbol use

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to furnish details of newspaper advertisements issued by it in compliance of its order directing it to run all publicity with a disclaimer that the matter regarding allocation of ‘clock’ symbol to the faction is sub judice.

A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the Ajit Pawar faction, to furnish the details of advertisements issued by it after senior leader Sharad Pawar alleged before the court that the Ajit Pawar faction is not complying with the March 19 order of the top court.

What did the apex court order say in its March 19 order on use of ‘clock’ symbol by Ajit Pawar faction

The top court in its March 19 order had directed the Ajit pawar faction to issue advertisements in English, Hindi and Marathi editions that the matter regarding allocation of ‘clock’ symbol is sub judice before the apex court and the Ajit Pawar faction was permitted to use the same subject to final outcome of the proceedings in court.

Apex court direction came on a plea by Sharad Pawar

The top court order had come on a plea filed by the Sharad Pawar faction of NCP seeking to restrain the Ajit Pawar faction from using the ‘clock’ symbol for the elections, as allotted by the Election Commission, of India, on the ground that it is disrupting the level playing field.

NCP was founded by Sharad Pawar in 1999 and ‘clock’ was the symbol of the party before its split and the ECI recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the real NCP after split in the party and ‘clock’ symbol is now with the Ajit Pawar faction of NCP.

What did Sharad Pawar submit before the apex court?

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented Sharad Pawar, told the court that the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP has not complied with the top court direction dated March 19 and they are issuing advertisements without the disclaimer. He further told the court that the Ajit Pawar faction has filed an application before the top court seeking relaxation of the order.

“Elections are on, your lordships will not entertain such a review. This is nothing but a blatant review. It is a reasoned order. This cannot be changed, we are in the middle of the elections,” Singhvi submitted and urged the top court bench not to entertain any such application for review of its March 19 order, adding the disclaimer is not being made by the Ajit Pawar faction in any newspaper and order of the court is made a mockery of.

Rohatgi told the bench that the application filed by the Ajit Pawar faction sought modification of just one line in the order.

Disclaimer in advertisements should continue till elections, apex court to Ajit Pawar faction

The bench directed that the disclaimer in advertisements should continue till elections and asked the Ajit Pawar faction to furnish the details and number of advertisements published by it after March 19, saying that the order is in simple language and there cannot be any other interpretation.

The apex court had earlier allowed the Sharad Pawar faction of NCP to use ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as its name for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the country and use ‘man blowing turha’ as its symbol.

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