Kochi (Kerala) [India], November 20 (ANI): Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed by UDF supporter and Kerala Congress (M) legislator PJ Joseph which challenged the Election Commission's order declaring the group led by Jose K Mani as the official Kerala Congress (M) and granting it the official election symbol of "two leaves".
Later, Joseph stated that he has decided to file an appeal before the division bench of the high court on November 23.
While dismissing the petition filed by PJ Joseph and others, Justice N Nagaresh held, "The conclusions arrived at by the Election Commission were based on materials available before it. Hence, it cannot be said to be perverse. The Court cannot, in the exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, interfere with the finding of the Commission."
The court further observed: "There is no statutory provision regulating the allocation of symbols to political parties and candidates in elections, the duty and power to regulate the allocation of symbols would vest with the Election Commission. Under the circumstances, the court is not inclined to accept the arguments raised by the petitioners."
The petitioners argued that when the strength of the State Committee of Kerala Congress (M) is admittedly 450, the Election Commission ought not to have ventured to hold a test of majority in numerical strength, with a collegium of 305 members.
PJ Joseph had argued in his petition, "The election commission has no right to allot a party to a person. The only jurisdiction vested with it is to allot symbols to a party. The Commission is not authorised or empowered to decide the internal issues of the party. The issue of the name is not coming under paragraph 15 of the Symbols Act."
"The party acquires the name as per the provisions of the constitution of it and it forms the property of the party. After registration under Section 29A of the Representation of Peoples Act, the State Committee of the party has powers to amend the Constitution as such, it is for the party to decide its name and not the Commission," the plea had added.
Earlier on October 22, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) officially inducted Jose K Mani's faction of Kerala Congress (M) into the front. (ANI)