SC refuses to entertain BRS plea against grant of ‘deceptively similar’ poll symbol to 2 Telangana parties

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) challenging the Election Commission’s move to allot two local parties of Telangana election symbols which are “deceptively similar” to its ‘car’ symbol.

A bench comprising justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal did not agree with the submissions of the counsel for BRS, the ruling part of Telangana, that these poll symbols will cause “serious prejudice” to it as a political party.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Meenakshi Arora appeared for the BRS and sought quashing of the poll panel’s September 25 notification allotting ‘road roller’ and ‘chapati roller’ as election symbols to Yuga Tulasi Party and Alliance of Democratic Reforms Party respectively.

Lawyer Sravan Kumar Karanam, who appeared for Yuga Tulasi Party, opposed the plea of BRS saying the EVMs will also contain photographs of the candidates besides the election symbol of the parties and hence the petition was without any basis.

“Do you think that electors are so unaware that they will not understand the difference between these poll symbols,” the bench asked.

It also took note of the submissions of Kumar that BRS had earlier gone to the Delhi High Court and on sensing that the matter may not be entertained there, the plea was withdrawn.

The apex court refused to hear the plea which led BRS to withdraw it.

Meanwhile, the bench also refused to entertain a separate appeal of BRS against an order of the Telangana High Court on a similar issue.

The BRS, in its plea filed through general secretary Soma Bharath Kumar, had sought the quashing of the poll panel’s direction, saying “The action of the respondent No. I (EC) in allotting the symbols which are deceptively similar and look alike of ‘Car’ i.e. the symbol of the petitioner’s political party to the respondents No.2 and 3 and rejecting the representations made by the petitioner is biased, arbitrary, discriminatory, in violation of the principles of natural justice.”

The plea also said the notification was in violation of the fundamental rights of the candidates nominated by BRS and consequently, causing serious prejudice to it as a political party which is contrary to the rule of law warranting interference of this court.