The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct the Election Commission to issue the common symbol of "Pressure Cooker” to TTV Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK for its candidates to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections in Tamil Nadu. However, the Supreme Court asked the poll panel to give them a common symbol from among the free symbols available. The top court also said that if any candidate is elected, he or she will be treated as an Independent.
Earlier on March 15, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued a notice to the Election Commission of India on the limited plea of Dhinakaran that they be allowed to use the common symbol of "Pressure Cooker". Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Dhinakaran faction said that EC is not giving them a common symbol. He said the apex court has directed to allot "pressure cooker' as a common symbol to the party. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami led faction said that, "I am the real AIADMK and he (Dhinakaran) has already floated a new party".
On February 28, the high court had dismissed the pleas of Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging the Election Commission's order granting the 'AIADMK' name and the 'two leaves' symbol to the faction led by the Tamil Nadu chief minister, saying the figures showed the Palaniswami-led group "enjoyed a clear majority".
It had upheld the EC's decision of November 23, 2017, saying none of the grounds of challenge raised by the Dhinakaran-Sasikala faction were made out and there was "no infirmity" in the poll panel's order allotting the party name and symbol to the group led by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
After the high court order was pronounced, Dhinakaran and Sasikala had urged the court to direct the EC not to allot the 'pressure cooker'symbol to anyone during the next 15 days so that they have time to move the apex court and seek an appropriate relief from there.
The EC, thereafter, had agreed not to allot the 'pressure cooker' symbol to anyone for next 15 days in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
(With PTI inputs)