Supreme Court Seeks Compliance from Ajit Pawar Group in NCP Rift Over ‘Clock’ Symbol

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In the ongoing dispute within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Sharad Pawar faction has approached the Supreme Court, alleging non-compliance by the Ajit Pawar group with the court’s directive to include disclaimers in their advertisements regarding the ‘clock’ symbol being subject to judicial scrutiny.

Responding to the urgent plea by the Sharad Pawar group, the Supreme Court directed the Ajit Pawar group to demonstrate the number of advertisements published post the court’s order issued on March 19. The bench, comprising Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan, warned of serious consequences if the order was disregarded, emphasizing the clarity of the directive without any room for misinterpretation.

The interim directive, issued on March 19 by the same bench, followed a Special Leave Petition filed by the Sharad Pawar group challenging the Election Commission’s decision to recognize the Ajit Pawar faction as the official NCP and allocate the ‘clock’ symbol to them.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Sharad Pawar group, highlighted the alleged non-compliance by the Ajit Pawar group and objected to their application seeking relaxation of the court’s order, terming it as a veiled attempt to seek a review.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Ajit Pawar group, presented certain advertisements with disclaimers but faced criticism from Singhvi regarding their absence in newspapers. Justice Kant reaffirmed the court’s order and emphasized the importance of compliance, cautioning against deliberate misinterpretation.

The Supreme Court’s directive on March 19 mandated the NCP to publish disclaimers in newspapers in Marathi, Hindi, and English, notifying the sub-judice status of the ‘clock’ symbol allocation and its use subject to the court’s final decision. The order also required inclusion of the disclaimer in all pamphlets, advertisements, and media content on behalf of the respondents (NCP).

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Reference: Sharad Pawar v. Ajit Anantrao Pawar & Anr. | Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 4248 of 2024

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