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Can Opposition Alliance Be Called INDIA? Court Gives Last Chance For Reply

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Can Opposition Alliance Be Called INDIA? Court Gives Last Chance For Reply

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The opposition alliance was formed in July 2023.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted last opportunity to the Centre and Opposition parties to file their responses on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for directions to prohibit the use of the acronym INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) by opposition political alliances.

The Delhi High Court refused to prepone hearing in the PIL against the opposition political parties using the acronym INDIA while hearing the petitioner’s application seeking an early hearing of the matter in view of the general election schedule notified by ECI.

The first phase of voting for the 2024 general elections is on April 19.

The bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora gave the one last opportunity to file the replies, saying “it would try to hear and dispose of the matter on April 10”.

Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI), in its reply to the Delhi High Court, said that it can’t regulate political alliances while responding to a plea against the use of the INDIA acronym for the alliance of opposition parties.

“The answering respondent (ECI) is constituted under Article 324 of the Constitution of India for superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of all elections to Parliament, state legislatures and the offices of President and Vice President,” the ECI stated.

The authority of the answering respondent is to be exercised in accordance with the law passed by Parliament, albeit the answering respondent has the authority to regulate matters concerning elections in the absence of any contrary law in force, the poll panel said.

“The answering respondent has been vested with the authority to register associations of bodies or individuals of a political party in terms of Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (the “RP Act”),” it added.

Political alliances are not recognised as regulated entities under the Representation of People’s Act or the Constitution.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had sought a response from the Centre, the ECI and several opposition political parties on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for direction to opposition political parties against the use of the acronym INDIA for their political alliance.

The court also sought responses from opposition parties named in the petition.

Petitioner Girish Upadhya, through Advocate Vaibhav Singh, stated that several political parties are using the national flag as the logo of their alliance, which is a further strategic move to attract and gain sympathy and votes from innocent citizens and as a tool to give a nudge or a spark that may lead to political hatred, which eventually will lead to political violence.

The plea alleged that political parties are using the acronym INDIA with malicious intent which will only act as a factor for “diminishing the goodwill of our great nation i.e., India (Bharat), not only in our country but also on various international platforms”.

The plea stated that if the term INDIA is used by the Indian and International Media as an acronym but not in its full form (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) it will create a sense of confusion among innocent citizens if the alliance i.e. INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) is defeated or loses the general election of 2024 then it would be projected as India as a whole is defeated, which will hurt the sentiment of innocent citizens of the country again which may lead to political violence in the country.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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