PIL challenging EC order for covering statues dismissed

Mayawati statue
Allahabad, Jan 11: A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Allahabad High Court challenging the Election Commission's order for covering statues of elephants in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh was dismissed as withdrawn.

The PIL, filed on Monday by a local social activist Dheeraj Singh, was taken up for hearing before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S R Alam and Justice Ran Vijai Singh which pointed out at the outset that the petition had "technical shortcomings".

The court expressed displeasure over the fact that neither the petitioner's identity was disclosed in the PIL nor had a copy of the impugned order of the Election Commission (EC) been attached.

The petitioner's counsel, Anil Singh Bisen, thereafter requested for permission to file amendments to correct the shortcomings.

However, the court was of the view that the petition should be "dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh PIL in accordance with norms".

Bisen claimed that a fresh petition will be filed "soon". Interestingly, the Bahujan Samaj Party, which is in power in the state, had reportedly chosen to oppose the PIL and question the locus standi of the petitioner.

While party sources have remained tight-lipped over the issue, court sources said that a "vakalatnama" had been moved by a senior advocate who had been authorised by the BSP to appear on its behalf.

The party had also reportedly decided to submit before the court that the BSP was the aggrieved party as elephant happened to be its election symbol but it had not so far chosen to challenge the EC's order.

The EC had passed the order last week, wherein directions were also issued for covering statues of party supremo and Chief Minister Mayawati.

The poll panel had said it wanted to ensure that no political party was allowed to "derive political mileage".


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