New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday asked the Election Commission to decide on a complaint that seeks the freezing of Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bahujan Samaj Party’s elephant election symbol as erecting statues of elephants and Chief Minister Mayawati in public places contravened the poll panel’s notification.
A bench of Chief Justice S.H.Kapadia, Justice K.S.Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the commission, after deciding on the maintainability of the complaint, would place its decision before the apex court.
Thereafter, the court will examine the decision and if required, more powers will be given to the Election Commission for further action. The poll panel has been given three months to decide on the complaint made by Advocate Ravi Kant.
The complainant alleged that the state government was spending huge amounts of public money to erect statues of elephants and of Mayawati all over the state.
Appearing for the Election Commission, senior counsel Ashok Desai told the court that the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh was not co-operating with it in completing the inquiry into the complaint, and was asking under what authority the commission was seeking information from it.
Desai said that initially the state government sought more time for collecting information sought about the number of statues of elephants and Mayawati installed in the state, but later made a U-turn, and questioned the jurisdiction of the commission in seeking the information.
He noted that the poll panel was conducting the inquiry on the apex court’s direction. ‘You passed an order and under that order we sought more information’ from the state government, Desai said.
At this, the court said: ‘First decide the issue (of maintainability of the complaint) and if the decision is good and valid, then we would empower you to seek more information’ from the state government.
The apex court by its order of Feb 22 this year, had directed the Election Commission decide whether the installation of the statues of the BSP’s symbol all over the state at the cost of the exchequer was in contravention of the election law.