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HomeNationDelhi HC seeks govt, Oppn replies on using INDIA acronym

Delhi HC seeks govt, Oppn replies on using INDIA acronym

The Delhi high court on Tuesday granted the “last and final” opportunity to the Centre and 26 Opposition parties to file their reply in a week in a petition seeking to prohibit the use of acronym INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) by the Opposition bloc.

Delhi HC grants final opportunity to Centre, Opposition parties in petition over use of INDIA acronym

The court, however, refused to prepone the hearing and listed it for final hearing on April 10, the date already fixed.

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“Since the matter is already fixed on April 10, the application for early hearing is dismissed.

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The contesting respondents are granted final opportunity to file a counter affidavit within a week. It is clarified that the court will make an endeavour to hear and dispose of the petition on the next date of hearing,” a bench led by acting chief justice Manmohan said, dismissing an application by businessman Girish Bharadwaj for early hearing.

The bench also comprising justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora granted final opportunity after taking note of Bharadwaj’s submission that the response was not filed despite the Centre and Opposition parties being granted eight opportunities.

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A group of 26 Opposition parties are part of the INDIA bloc, formed to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections.

With the polls scheduled for April-June, Bharadwaj in his application said the petition, pending since August 2023, was still at the stage of completion of pleadings. “That due to the malafide conduct of the respondents, the petitioner/applicant is being made to wait indefinitely… which indeed is causing grave and irreparable loss to the petitioner as the respondent political parties are using the name of the nation to gain political image,” the application read.

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In his plea before the HC, Bharadwaj said though he had sent a representation to the Election Commission (ECI) on July 19 last year urging it to take necessary action against the use of acronym INDIA, the poll body “miserably failed” to take action.

“The plea is totally non maintainable,” senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the INDIA bloc submitted.

ECI in its reply last year had told the HC it cannot regulate political alliances as they are not recognised as regulated entities under the Representation of the People Act or the Constitution.

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