By LE Desk
New Delhi, March 9: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to allot distinctive symbols, as far as possible, to the candidates on the fray in the Assembly elections to be held on April 6.
The direction was issued after a complaint was made to the court that symbols such as television, laptop and blackboard look similar when they get printed on paper stuck to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and therefore, such confusion should be avoided.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the direction while disposing of a writ petition filed by the Puthiya Tamilagam party, led by K. Krishnasamy, who had sought allotment of television symbol to his party candidates during the ensuing Assembly elections. The party insisted on the television symbol since it had been allotted the same symbol during the 2011 Assembly elections as well as the 2014 Parliamentary polls.
First Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the ECI to make sure that a decision on the petitioner party’s application was taken within a week. The judges also took note of a submission made by senior counsel N.L. Rajah, representing the petitioner party, that the Commission should desist from allotting symbols that look identical since they might lead to confusion among voters, The Hindu reported.
The senior counsel said symbols such as television, laptop and blackboard look almost similar and therefore, it would be better to avoid such identical symbols. Observing that it might be too late to complain of confusion in election symbols when there was hardly a month for the State to go for polls, The judges, nevertheless, directed the ECI to allot distinctive symbols, as far as possible, to the candidates on the fray.