Delhi HC Issues Notice to Centre, ECI, and Opposition to Restrict Use of Acronym I.N.D.I.A. by Political Parties

4 August, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Delhi High Court National

The petitioner who filed PIL in Delhi High Court contends that various political parties are using the Indian national flag's image as their alliance's logo.

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Central Government, the Election Commission of India (ECI), and multiple opposition political parties regarding a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that seeks to restrain these parties from using the acronym I.N.D.I.A. (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) for their political alliances.

The Delhi High Court bench, comprising Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Amit Mahajan, has set the response deadline for the Centre Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the ECI, scheduling a hearing for October 31, 2023.

The Delhi High Court has, for now, declined to advance the hearing date or issue any interim orders to curtail the use of the acronym I.N.D.I.A. by the mentioned political parties.

The PIL also requests responses from the opposition parties mentioned in the petition, including the Indian National Congress, TMC, RLD, JDU, Samajwadi Party, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, JMM, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), RJD, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), PDP, JKNC, CPI, CPI (M), MDMK, Konganadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, All India Forward Bloc, Kerala Congress (Joseph), Kerala Congress (Mani), and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK).

Girish Upadhya, the petitioner represented by Advocate Vaibhav Singh, contends that various political parties are using the Indian national flag’s image as their alliance’s logo. This, the petitioner claims, is a calculated effort to gain sympathy and votes, potentially leading to political hostility and violence.

The acronym I.N.D.I.A. stands for Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, a coalition formed by 26 opposition parties to contest against the BJP in the upcoming elections. The petitioner alleges that using the acronym “India” in this context has malicious intent and can harm the nation’s reputation, both domestically and internationally.

The petitioner further argued in Delhi High Court that if the media employs the acronym I.N.D.I.A. without its full form (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), it could confuse citizens. In case the alliance is defeated in the 2024 general elections, it might be portrayed as a defeat for India as a whole, potentially inciting political violence.

The petitioner fears that such actions by political parties could disrupt the peaceful and transparent casting of votes in the 2024 general elections, putting citizens at risk and endangering the country’s law and order.

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