New Delhi: Courts should ordinarily refrain from interfering with election process once it has commenced, the Delhi High Court has said. Justice Hima Kohli made these observations while refusing to entertain a plea filed by a society, Aam Akali Dal, against January 27 order passed by the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections informing it that ‘bucket’ symbol sought by it to contest the elections is not included in the list of free symbols and also to specify a symbol from among those available for allotment.
“There are several judicial pronouncements that emphasize that as a matter of general principle, courts should ordinarily refrain from interfering with the election process between the commencement of such a process and the stage of declaration of the result,” the court said. “Once the election is over, the aggrieved party has always an option to pursue his remedies in accordance with law,” it said, while noting that the process for electing members to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has already commenced.
According to the schedule for the election, the last date for nominations is February 8 and the entire process would be completed by March 2. “It can be seen from the above that the election process has started and once the wheels are set into motion, courts should refrain from interfering in the said process. Even if there is some illegality or breach of rules, as has been alleged by the petitioner herein, courts should forbear from interfering with the election,” the court noted.
“This Court declines to entertain the present petition for the relief prayed for, on the ground that the petitioner/ society has approached the court, at the nick of time and any orders passed now, will result in derailing the entire election process. The petition is accordingly disposed of,” it said. The court, which clarified that observations made by it were confined to the maintainability of the petition at such a belated stage, granted liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh plea after conclusion of the election for appropriate relief in accordance with law. PTI
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