Kerala Congress Dispute : SC Dismisses PJ Joseph’s Challenge Against Allotment Of ‘Two Leaves’ To Mani Faction

first_imgTop StoriesKerala Congress Dispute : SC Dismisses PJ Joseph’s Challenge Against Allotment Of ‘Two Leaves’ To Mani Faction Srishti Ojha15 March 2021 12:17 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the the petition filed by Kerala Congress leader PJ Joseph challenging the Kerala High Court judgments which upheld the Election Commission of India’s order allotting the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to Kerala Congress(M) faction led by Jose K Mani.A bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the special…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the the petition filed by Kerala Congress leader PJ Joseph challenging the Kerala High Court judgments which upheld the Election Commission of India’s order allotting the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to Kerala Congress(M) faction led by Jose K Mani.A bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the special leave petition filed by Joseph.Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Joseph, argued that no material was available with the Election Commission of India to hold that Jose K Mani’s faction was the real Kerala Congress(Mani) party. Divan further argued that the High Court “abdicated its responsibility” by failing to ensure that the ECI acted as per law.However, the bench said that it was not inclined to interfere with the concurrent views taken by the single bench and the division bench of the High Court. “We don’t agree with you. Dismissed. We are not interfering”, the CJI told Divan after the brief hearing.Jose K Mani had filed a caveat in the Supreme Court.Joseph had laid claim to the official party symbol ‘two leaves’ by saying that his faction is the real KC(M) party, and not the faction of Jose K Mani, the son of party founder KM Mani.In the upcoming Kerala assembly polls, Joseph and Mani factions are fighting against each other, with the former as UDF ally and the latter as LDF ally.Last year, in August, the Election Commission, by 2:1 majority (with chief election commissioner Sunil Arora and election commissioner Sushil Chandra) 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”.Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa had dissented from the majority order by saying that more evidence was needed to uphold the exclusive claim of either of the groups.The dispute between Joseph and Jose K Mani groups erupted after the death of party founder K M Mani in April 2019.Though Joseph approached the High Court against the ECI order, he was unsuccessful. In November, a single bench of Justice N Nagaresh rejected the legal argument raised by Joseph that the ECI did not have the power to decide disputes over party symbol. This judgment was approved by a division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly in further appeal made by Joseph.Referring to SC precedents, the High Court observed that the Election Commission has plenary powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to decide on the allotment of symbols.”If the Commission is not to be disabled from exercising effectively the plenary powers vested in it in the matter of allotment of symbols and for issuing directions in connection therewith, it is plainly essential that the Commission should have the power to settle a dispute in case claim for the allotment of the symbols of a political party is made by two rival claimants”, the Court observed.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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