NCP Clock Symbol| Supreme Court questions Ajit Pawar faction for defying its order

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Top Court today said that nobody had a right to deliberately misconstrue a court order

An urgent mentioning was made before the Supreme Court today on behalf of the Sharad Pawar led NCP faction, citing the defiance of its previous order by the Ajit Pawar led group.

Court was told today that Ajit Pawar's NCP group had not complied with ithe court's March 19 order directing it to publish advertisements in the media with a disclaimer that a legal dispute over the allocation of the party symbol ‘clock’ is still underway in the Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi told a bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Vishwanathan that instead of adhering to the court's order, Ajit Pawar's faction had filed an application seeking relaxation of the order.

Ajit Pawar group, represented by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, requested for a modification which was denied by the bench.

"No, this has to continue till polls conclude. Nobody can misconstrue our order," the bench said. It further asked about the number of advertisements that had been put out till now.

On March 19, the Supreme Court had allowed Ajit Pawar led NCP faction to provisionally use the clock symbol for its party. Furthermore, Court had directed the Election Commission of India to provisionally recognise the NCP led by Sharad Pawar for the purpose of contesting upcoming Lok Sabha and state elections.

"The respondents (Ajit Pawar faction) are directed to issue a public notice in the newspapers in English, Marathi, Hindi editions notifying that the allocation of the 'clock' symbol is sub judice and the respondents shall be permitted to use the same subject to the final outcome of the proceedings." the Court had also ordered.

Earlier, court has asked the Ajit Pawar led faction of NCP to file an undertaking before it that it would not use Sharad Pawar's pictures in its posters.

Sharad Pawar approached the Supreme Court challenging the ECI's decision in favour of Ajit Pawar, who broke away from the Sharad Pawar camp to join the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra with eight NCP MLAs.

The ECI had ruled that Ajit Pawar's faction was the real NCP and permitted the faction to use the 'clock' symbol for the party. In its order, ECI said total number of NCP MLAs in Maharashtra State assembly stood at 81, out of which, Ajit Pawar submitted affidavits of 57 MLAs in his support while Sharad Pawar had only 28 affidavits.

Notably, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar also recognized the Ajit Pawar-led faction as the legitimate NCP and dismissed all disqualification petitions against both the Sharad Pawar faction and the Ajit Pawar faction.

The Speaker's decision acknowledged that the Ajit Pawar faction had the support of the majority of MLAs and further noted that the collective dissent would remain a dissent within the political party even when it began to be raised publicly.

Case Title: Sharad Pawar vs. Ajit Pawar