SC irked over non-grant of ‘plough’ symbol to National Conference for Ladakh Hill Council polls

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday termed as “unfair” the act of the Ladakh administration of not granting the ‘plough’ poll symbol to the National Conference for the upcoming Ladakh Hill Council elections despite the order of the high court in this regard.

“It is unfair… We will set aside the election schedule if need arises,” a bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah orally observed while hearing the appeal of the Union Territory of Ladakh against the order of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court.

The Union Territory (UT) has filed an appeal against the order of the High Court asking it to notify the ‘plough’ symbol to the party. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the party, said the last date for filing nomination was on August 16.

The bench posted the UT administration on Monday as the first item and cautioned it that the court may set aside the poll schedule.

Earlier, the National Conference (NC) had said that the top court had refused to stay the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s order on the grant of the ‘plough’ poll symbol for the party in the Ladakh Hill Council elections.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed the Ladakh administration’s plea against a single bench order allowing NC candidates to contest the upcoming polls for Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, on the party symbol.

The administration had approached a division bench of the high court against the single bench order of August 9 which directed the NC to approach the office of the Election Department of the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh for notifying the reserved symbol ‘plough’ already allotted to for in the polls.

The National Conference said if the order to allot the party its symbol is not issued then ”contempt order of the High Court will prevail”.

According to a notification issued by the election department on August 5, the polls for 26 seats of the 30-member LAHDC, Kargil, is scheduled for September 10 and the counting of votes will take place four days later.