HC upholds EC decision on Hindu Mahasabha

Delhi HC upheld decision of EC not to recognise office bearers of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) led by national president Swami Chakrapani.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has upheld
the decision of the Election Commission not to recognise
office bearers of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) led by
national president Swami Chakrapani after a rival faction
challenged their election.

Setting aside a single judge`s order directing the EC to
grant recognition to Chakrapani-led ABHM, a division bench of
Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw
allowed the petition filed by Chandra Prakash Kaushik, who
also claims to be a member of ABHM - a registered unrecognised
political party.

The single-bench of Justice S Muralidhar earlier had said
the mere fact that letters were written to the EC by rival
claimants was not a "good enough reason" for the panel to
reverse its decision to accept the list of office bearers
submitted by Swami Chakrapani.

Chakrapani had challenged the EC order issued on January
14 last year that it would not recognise anyone as the
authorised office bearers of the party as there were claims
and rival claims over the political outfit.

The EC order was passed after some alleged party members,
opposed to the national president, filed a civil suit seeking
to declare as "unconstitutional" the election of Chakrapani
and other office bearers including Indira Tiwari.

The Commission had cited the pendency of the case as one
of the reasons for the decision.

Kaushik`s plea had challenged the order of single-bench.
"We are thus of the view that the decision dated November
11, 2010 of ECI of preferring the claim of Swami Chakrapani
over that of others was clearly beyond the powers/jurisdiction
of ECI. Axiomatically the corrective action of ECI on January
14, 2011 is found to be in accordance with law and thus cannot
be faulted with," the division bench said.

"The respondent (ECI) on January 14, 2011 appears to have
felt that its earlier decision dated November 11, 2010 was
erroneous. The learned single judge has held that the ECI
could not have so corrected its decision.

"We are, however, of the view that this court in exercise
of powers of judicial review ought not to interfere with a
decision of a body such as ECI which decision is otherwise
found to be correct in law," the bench observed.
Kaushik had argued that the EC`s order was reasonable and
the group of office bearers led by Chakrapani should not have
been acknowledged.

The plea was opposed by Indira Tiwari, an office bearer
of ABHM led by Chakrapani, saying Kaushik had no locus to
challenge the judgement of the court as it was the EC which
was a party to the petition filed by Chakrapani.

She had also said the EC, in its reply to a RTI query,
has acknowledged that its records have the list of office
bearers having Chakrapani as the ABHM president.


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