Supreme Court asks Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar to abide by its order on use of party name, election symbol

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked both factions – Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar – of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to abide by its directions on the use of party name, election symbols and disclaimers in publicity materials for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan was hearing applications filed by both sides on non-compliance with apex court’s March 19 order.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Sharad Pawar submitted to the court that despite the apex court order, the Ajit Pawar faction was not using the disclaimer and that Ajit Pawar too has been using the clock symbol in his social media accounts without the disclaimer. Singhvi also tried to show to the court that the overall impact of the use of the ‘clock’ symbol without the disclaimer was to the detriment of the Sharad Pawar faction and there must be immediate stoppage of the same.

Comply with apex court’s March 19 order, apex court directs Ajit Pawar faction

The bench directed the Ajit Pawar faction to incorporate a disclaimer that the use of ‘clock’ symbol is sub-judice before the top court in every pamphlet, advertisement, audio, or video clips to be issued on behalf of Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP and all the office bearers and party functionaries, candidates of the Ajit Pawar faction must be sensitised about the court order and there should be no defiance of the same.

Sensitize party workers on using new name, symbol, apex court tells Sharad Pawar faction of NCP

The apex court bench also directed the Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP to sensitise its party workers on using the new name and symbol of the faction for the general and assembly elections and ask its party workers, office bearers and leaders not to use the ‘clock’ symbol, which has been allotted to the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, in its poll advertisements.

What did the apex court say in its March 19 order?

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

The March 19 order of the apex court came on a plea by the Sharad Pawar faction of NCP, which sought to restrain the rival faction from using the ‘clock’ symbol for the elections, as allotted by the Election Commission of India to the Ajit Pawar faction, on the ground that it is disrupting the level playing field.

The Sharad Pawar faction later told the court that the Ajit Pawar faction was not complying with the apex court’s March 19 order. The bench had on Wednesday asked the Ajit Pawar faction to furnish details of newspaper advertisements issued by the faction in compliance of its March 19 order directing it to run all publicity with disclaimer that the matter regarding allocation of ‘clock’ symbol to the faction is sub judice.

The Ajit Pawar faction had also moved an application seeking modification in the March 19 order, however, the bench refused to modify its directions, saying that there appears to be no necessity for the same and disposed of the applications filed by both factions.

Apex court earlier allowed Sharad Pawar faction to use ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as its name

The apex court had on March 19 allowed the Sharad Pawar faction to use ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as its name for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls and had asked the Election Commission of India to consider to allot the faction a symbol within one week if the faction approaches it for allocation of symbol. The faction was later allotted the symbol ‘man blowing turha’.

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