SUPREME COURT: SYMBOL CAN BE TAKEN BACK IF PARTY IS REJECTED AT THE HUSTINGS

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The Supreme Court has held that the election symbol allotted to a political party is not an intellectual property and the same can be taken away if the party is rejected by the people at the hustings.

A bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhan and V S Sirpurkar while dismissing the petition of Janta Party President and former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy seeking to retain the election symbol "Chakrahaldhar", granted him liberty to approach the Election commission for getting the symbol frozen.

The apex court, in its judgement said, "the symbol may be an outcome of intellectual exercise but it des not become an intellectual property which concept has monetary implications. In case of a political party as contemplated in symbols order, monetary angle is conspicuously absent.

The apex court, while agreeing with the contention of the petitioner that the symbol of Janta Party should not be treated as a free symbol, observed "we would have ordinarily considered this argument which is attractive. However, instead of expressing anything on this subject we would leave it open to the appellant to raise this question before the Election Commission.

We have not come across any particular provision in the symbols order to freeze a particular symbol.

However, it will be for the Election commission in case the petitioner chooses to go before the same to take a decision in that behalf. We leave it as that", the court said.

The Janta party was de recognised as national party by the Election Commission on September 27, 2000.

In view of its poor performance in the election, the symbol was withdrawn.

Delhi High Court dismissed the writ petition of Dr Swami against the order of the Election Commission.

Justice Sirpurkar wrote the 26-page judgement for the bench copies of which were made available today.

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