The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to State Election Commission to remove election symbol from the ballot paper, including the unit of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), in the municipal elections in the national capital.
The plea states that the election symbols are not required in the presence of photograph of the candidate and the presence of reserved election symbol is ultra-virus the provisions of law enshrined in the Constitution of India and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC), Act 1957. The presence of reserved election symbol is the root cause of corruption in the Corporation.
The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh on Friday sought response from all the respondents in the matter and slated the matter for 13 April for further proccedings.
The Petitioner, Alka Gehlot is an Ex-Contestant of last municipal election held in 2017 had earlier too approached the Delhi HC in 2019 and that petition was disposed by the court with a direction to the Respondents (including State Election Commission, Delhi) to look into the grievance of the petitioner.
The State Election Commission (SEC) later, refused to grant the prayer of the petitioner without hearing the petitioner on the ground that the Commission cannot make any amendment either in the Act or in the Rules. Further, the SEC refused to grant the prayer of the petitioner on the ground that there is no merit in it and the commission shall continue with the existing impugned provision of putting up election symbol on the ballot paper, plea read.
Advocate HS Gehlot, represented petitioner states that the DMC Act 1957 provides that the councilors to be chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage from various wards which the corporation comprises of without any preference to candidates of political parties.
Hence, the SEC ought to conduct election to elect a candidate and not a party. Presence of reserved symbol on the ballot paper is blatant violation of Fundamental Rights and other constitutional rights of the people.
The plea stated that, Population of Delhi is growing exponentially in violation of NCR Planning Board Act, 1985 and the Municipal Government cannot escape responsibility as most of the corporators are indulged in property dealing or have nexus with them. As a result of unplanned growth Delhi has become one of the most polluted city in the world.