BENGALURU: The High Court on Thursday dismissed the BJP’s petition challenging the state election commission’s notice to cover the party symbol and remove the flag displayed outside the party headquarters at Malleswaram on account of BBMP polls.
The SEC had issued the notice on August 16 as the BJP office falls within 100 m of the polling booth at Kodandarampuram Government School.
Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan said the party symbol and flag do come under “sign” as mentioned in Section 46 1(e) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. The notice was in adherence to the model code of conduct and such notices in terms of the said provision were only for ensuring neutrality, he added.
“The ultimate goal of democracy is not to patronise one political party, but to uphold the rule of law. The country... cannot afford to lose democracy and rule of law. The notice cannot be interpreted as an act of political vendetta and there is no justification to claim that the removal of the flag will hurt sentiments of the party and its followers,” Justice Chauhan observed.
Earlier, senior counsel Vivek Reddy, representing the BJP, argued that the party symbol and flag have an “emotional bond with voters.” The SEC, instead of shifting the booth as sought by them, told them to remove the flag and cover the huge lotus symbol.