Majority ruling uphelds EC decision denying reservation of a symbol by a political party for “insignificant poll performance” valid; minority held otherwise: SC

A minority decision of the Supreme Court of India ruled that the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 (Symbols Order), insofar as it denies the reservation of a symbol for the exclusive allotment of the candidates set up by a political party with “insignificant poll performance”, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
Per the Symbols Order, a political party would not only have to secure not less than 6% of the total valid votes polled, but it had also to return at least 2 members to the Legislative Assembly of the State to gain recognition as a political party.
The minority decision said “There is no rational nexus between the classification of recognised and unrecognised political parties and the professed purpose sought to be achieved by such classification.”
However, the majority Court, holding otherwise, said “……..a party has to prove itself and to establish its credibility as a serious player in the political arena of the State. Once it succeeds in doing so, it will become entitled to all the benefits of recognition, including the allotment of a common symbol.”

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