Misuse of BSP Reserved Symbol
The petition challenging the order of the Central Election Commissionrejecting our request for freezing the reserved symbol of BSP on account of its misuse by its government in UP could not be taken up during 2015 due to adjournments sought by the respondent, lawyers’ strike and non-availability of the bench. On July 7, 2016, the Delhi High Court disposed our petition with a direction/request to ECI to issue guidelines to prevent political parties from using public places and public funds for propagating their election symbols and suggested their de-recognition if they failed to abide by these norms.
The court asked the ECI to consider issuing within three months “appropriate direction or guideline within the meaning of clause 16A(b) of the Symbols Order preventing recognised political party in power from using public places and public funds for propagating its reserve(d) symbol and /or its leaders”. The court said that it was necessary for “conducting free, fair and peaceful election” and “to safeguard the interest of the general public and the electorate in future”.
Years after Common Cause pointed this out, the Election Commission has recently issued an order with the direction that no political party should use or allow the use of public funds, public place or government machinery for promoting itself or the symbol allotted to it.