The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission that political parties, having religious, caste, ethnic and linguistic names or connotations, be asked to change their names within three months or be de-recognised. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud termed the plea as “publicity interest litigation” and dismissed it saying this was not the job of the judiciary. “It is not under the domain of the judiciary. The courts should not get into this. … let the court function,” it said.
The court was hearing the plea of NGO ‘Lok Prahari’ seeking “effectuation” of section 29A of the Representation of People Act which provides that the memorandum of rules and regulations of a political party “shall contain a specific provision that the association of body shall bear truth faith and allegiance to the Constitution” and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy. The parties should also say that they would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
The plea has sought a direction to the poll panel that the registration of parties, having religious, caste, ethnic and linguistic connotations, be reviewed and they be asked to change their names within three months. If they fail to do so, then their registration may be cancelled, it said.