Kerala HC: Election commission has power to decide disputes over symbol in case of party split

21 November

Kerala HC: Election commission has power to decide disputes over symbol in case of party split

The Kerala high court has upheld the order of the election commission of India to allot the party “two leaves” to Rajya sabha MP Jose K Mani-led faction of the Kerala congress (mani) party.
The contention was made that the concept of “split” was omitted from 10th schedule in the 91st constitutional amendment act, 2003. Thus, the EC had no jurisdiction to look into split in legislative wing of any political party.
After further arguments, representation of people act, 1951 was amended in 1989 to insert sec.29A giving statutory power to the EC to recognise political parties.
The election commission, by 2:1 majority had allotted the symbol to the Mani faction as it “enjoyed majority support, both among the legislative as well as the organisational wing of the party.” EC Ashok Lavasa has dissented from the majority order by saying that more evidence was needed to uphold the matter.