The Election Commission of India (ECI) does not have the power to regulate political alliances, the poll body recently told the Delhi High Court in response to a plea challenging the use of the acronym INDIA by opposition political parties. .ECI made the submission on affidavit, in which it added that it only has the authority to register associations of bodies or individuals of a "political party" under the Representation of People Act, 1951 (RP Act). Pertinently, the ECI said that "political alliances" are not recognised as regulated entities under the RP Act or the Constitution of India.“That the Answering Respondent [ECI] has been vested with the authority to register associations of bodies or individuals of a political party in terms of Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (the RP Act). Notably, political alliances are not recognised as regulated entities under the RP Act or the Constitution,” the ECI submitted..The ECI also relied on a judgment of the Kerala High Court in Dr George Joseph Themplangad v Union of India & Ors, where the High Court had held that political alliances are not legal entities and that there are no statutory provisions mandating ECI to regulate their functioning..The ECI clarified that its stand is limited to its role and should not be construed as an expression about the legality of using the acronym INDIA by political parties..The reply was filed in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by an activist named Girish Bhardwaj, who has alleged that opposition parties are using the acronym INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) as part of a selfish act and that it may "adversely affect the peaceful, transparent and fair casting of votes during the upcoming general elections of 2024."He has argued that the use of the name INDIA is prohibited under Sections 2 and 3 of The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950..The High Court had heard the matter in August and issued notices to 26 opposition political parties. The Court had also sought the response of the Union government and the ECI in the case. The matter will be heard by the High Court on Tuesday..Petitioner Girish Bhardwaj is represented through advocaes Vibhav Singh, Yatharth Singh, Akshay and Saurabh Bhatt.