Veteran politician Sharad Pawar on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court, alleging that the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has not complied with the court’s direction to publish disclaimers in all their advertisements that the use of the ‘clock’ symbol by them is a sub-judice matter.
The matter was mentioned by senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi before the apex court, expressing concern over the non-compliance of the order.
Singhvi told a bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanahan that instead of adhering to the court’s order, Ajit Pawar’s faction has filed an application seeking relaxation of the order.
The bench then asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Ajit Pawar group, to show how many advertisements were published after the court’s order.
The top court cautioned the Ajit Pawar group that a serious view will be taken if the court’s order is defied.
The bench added that nobody has a right to deliberately misconstrue the court’s order and said it would list the application.
“Mr Rohatgi, meanwhile you have your instructions on how many advertisements were issued after this order. We might be required to take a view if he is behaving like this… Nobody has a right to deliberately misconstrue our order. The order is not very complicated, it is in simple language. There is only one meaning and no question of double interpretation,” said the bench.
The apex court on March 19 had directed the Ajit Pawar faction to issue a public notice in English, Hindi, and Marathi media and mention in all its campaign ads that the ‘clock’ symbol allotted to it is subject to the outcome of the case pending before it on challenge to the ECI order of recognising Ajit Pawar’s group as ‘real NCP’.
It ordered, “The respondents (NCP-Ajit Pawar) are directed to issue a public notice in the newspapers in English, Marathi, and Hindi editions notifying that the allocation of the ‘clock’ symbol is sub-judice and the respondents shall be permitted to use the same subject to the final outcome of the proceedings. Such a declaration shall be incorporated in every template, advertisement, audio or video clip issued on behalf of the respondent political party.”
It had also directed that the undertaking made by the Ajit Pawar faction to not use the name and pictures of Sharad Pawar in election posters would apply not just to the State of Maharashtra but also to other states.
Earlier, the apex court had directed that the Election Commission’s order of February 7 allotting ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as the party name for the Sharad Pawar faction will continue till further orders. (ANI)