The Supreme Court Thursday said the Election Commission can consider allotting rebel AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran the “pressure cooker” election symbol if the Delhi High Court does not take a decision on the matter in four weeks.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi vacated its earlier direction to keep in abeyance the March 9, 2018, order of the Delhi HC, which permitted the EC to allow the TTV faction “to use a common symbol (preferably ‘Pressure Cooker’)…and also permit them to use the name of their choice, after giving them an appropriate hearing”.
Dhinakaran had approached the apex court for suitable directions to the EC to allow his party to use a common symbol for the bypoll to the Thiruvarur assembly seat, which fell vacant after the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi last year.
The election scheduled for January 28, was cancelled, however, after the district administration cited relief and rehabilitation work in the aftermath of cyclone Gaja.
The TTV group and rivals E Madhusudhanan, O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami are locked in a dispute in the Delhi HC on rights to the two-leaves symbol and the name of the AIADMK.
The SC said that “if the writ petition is not finally disposed of by the Division Bench of the High Court within four weeks from today, the Election Commission of India shall process the application of the group represented by” Dhinakaran.
The bench directed that if the Commission “intends to issue any Press Note or Notification for announcing the bye-elections in respect of the vacant Assembly Constituencies” in Tamil Nadu or the 2019 Parliamentary Elections, “it shall pass appropriate directions in compliance with the interim order of the High Court dated March 9, 2018, within one week from the date of release of such Press Note or Notification and in any case, before the date notified for filing of the nominations, whichever is earlier.