The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought reply from the Centre, State Election Commission and the AAP government on a plea for removal of party symbols of candidates from Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in municipal corporation polls in the National Capital. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notices to the authorities concerned and asked them to file short counter affidavits within six weeks. The court has now posted the matter for September 28. The plea filed by law student Sanjana Gahlot and advocate Hargyan Singh Gahlot has sought directions for inclusion of photographs of contesting candidates on the EVM.
The plea said that there is no provision in Part IX-A of the Constitution of India or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Act for the political parties or their election symbols to be mentioned on the EVM.
“The presence of a party symbol on the EVM is arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The respondents, in particular State Election Commission (SEC), have failed to conduct free and fair election (by-elections 2016 for filling casual vacancies in councillorship),” the petition said.
“The SEC is duty-bound to conduct free and fair elections and this duty is of public nature,” it said, adding that the state poll panel “simply copied the same format and design as was used by the Election Commission of India for elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies”.
Full Article: High Court Seeks Responses On Removing Party Symbols From Voting Machines.