ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prescription for Disaster

which election expenses undertaken by a political party are not considered as election expenses of the party's candidate for the purposes of the ceiling on election expenses.) The 'common symbol' is therefore a substantial privilege given to a recognised party and its candidates. The granting of any privilege must be conditional upon the party concerned observing a certain code of ethics in its election campaign and upon the party functioning in a manner that it does not spread fanatical intolerance and hate among the people, It follows that the recognition granted to a party, or the fruits of that recognition, in the form of a common symbol for its candidates, should be withdrawn when a party, in the opinion of an independent authority, say. a high court, oversteps the bounds of such a code. The measure suggested here would not go so far as deregistration but would nevertheless result in withdrawal of a crucial privilege from the party. This can be provided for through appropriate amendments, made in consultation with the Election Commission, to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and to the Symbols Older, The matter can be approached in another way. In the US, a matter arose concerning the eviction of Blacks from a private park, At the time of the eviction, the manager of the park, who happened to be a city deputy sheriff, was wearing a sheriff's badge. The US Supreme Court held (378 US 130) that the wearing of the badge at the time of the eviction had involved the state machinery in the eviction and as such the eviction had been made by 'stale action' As 'state action' could not contravene the constitutional protection against racial discrimination, the manager's act was held bad in law.

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