The Madras High Court on Tuesday upheld the order passed by the Election Commission to conceal the painting of two leaves on the government small buses plying in Chennai.
The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundaresh said that the observation made on the resemblance between the symbol of the petitioner and the painting on the small buses is to be construed only for the purpose of avoiding a possible confusion in the minds of the voters.
The judges also observed that there was no wilful or deliberate act on the part of the State Government and the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) in undertaking the painting on the small buses.
Stating that the High Court was not inclined to exercise its judicial review over the decision made by the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer, the judges observed that while exercising a discretionary power of review over a decision rendered by a Constitutional body, self-restraint was required.
“There has to be a harmony between two constitutional functionaries,” they stated.
“We do not find anything unreasonable or arbitrary in the action of Election Commission. In fact, EC has rejected the other complaints made indicating the fairness in the decision made. Moreover, in view of the stand taken in the affidavit of the Chief Electoral Officer, the grievance of the petitioner is satisfied as it is its own case that the painting does not resemble its symbol,” the judges stated.
Reacting to the verdict, CEO Praveen Kumar on Tuesday said that he had already spoken to the Transport Secretary and asked him make arrangements for covering the ‘leaves’ by Tuesday evening.