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Views & Reviews

ECI landmark judgment

By EMN Updated: Feb 15, 2015 11:37 pm

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he NPF is placing this statement in the public space on the foundation that it is our political obligation and duty to present the hard and real facts so that the public or leaders are misled nor confused and everyone are allowed to draw rationale conclusion based on facts, facts and only facts.
With regard to the ongoing crisis in the NPF family, I lay a landmark judgement of ECI passed on 12th March 1996 for one and all to analysis and draw the red line on the ground.In 1996, T. N. Seshan was Chief Election Commissioner and G. V. G. Krishnamurthy and Dr. M.S. Gill, were Election Commissioner. The case in reference is the dispute case No.1 of 1996 under Para 15 of the election symbols reservation and allotment order 1968 between Arjun Singh as petitioner and the President Indian National Congress as respondent.
The Indian National Congress is registered as a political party with the ECI under section 29A of the representation of the People Act 1951. A split took place in the party, resulting in the formation of two groups headed by P. V. Narashimha Rao and N. D. Tiwari respectively.
On 16th January 1996, a petition was filed by Arjun Singh before the commission under Para 15 of the symbols order claiming that the group headed by N.D. Tiwari is the real Indian National Congress. The matter was heard by the commission on 12th and 13th February 1996 applying the test of majority as upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Sadiq Ali Vs election commission and others (AIR 1972 SC 187). The commission by a majority decision 2:1 decided on the 12th March 1996 that the group headed by P. V. Narashimha Rao was the real Indian National Congress as it enjoyed superior majority in the legislature wings of the party.
The principle laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the Sadiq Ali Vs ECI and others AIR 1972 SC 187, explicitly states that the numerical strength of the legislature should be the criteria for determining the legitimacy of a group as the real party. This 1972 landmark judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is the sole yardstick for the Election Commission to recognise the real group.
In the very judgement, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has also pointed out the difficulties in ascertaining the details of the party organisation and every primary membership of the party because of possible factions and the bogus membership and the necessity for finding the truth within a short span of time.
In the 1996 ECI landmark judgement observed as follows; “….. denying the rights of party members in the decision making of the party and depriving them of their rights of effective say in the running of the party affairs. This gives rise to bossism and personality cult and small coteries hijack the parties. Those refusing to tow the dictates of the party bosses or refusing towing their lines are thrown out of the party organisation unceremoniously and without following the provisions of the party constitution regulating the taking of disciplinary action against erring members.”
“…The commission cannot remain a mute spectator for all time to come to these unsavoury happenings in political parties registered with it….” and therefore such groups are liable to attract prosecution under relevant sections of the law, especially those who fails to uphold the principles of inner-party democracy, such parties can hardly expect the nation to believe they would promote, encourage and practise democracy and it has rightly observed in its order dated 16th October, 1994 in dispute case No.1 of 1994 regarding Janata Dal.
This statement is issued without any motivations nor intentions but simply to assist the public and leaders of the day.
Press and Media Cell

By EMN Updated: Feb 15, 2015 11:37:47 pm