25 Jan 2022 11:18 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court today heard another Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea seeking postponement of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Polls 2022 amid the rising threat of COVID. The High Court had recently refused to entertain a similar plea seeking postponement of elections for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (scheduled to be held in Feb-March 2022) in view of the COVID surge.Read more...
The Allahabad High Court today heard another Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea seeking postponement of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Polls 2022 amid the rising threat of COVID. The High Court had recently refused to entertain a similar plea seeking postponement of elections for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (scheduled to be held in Feb-March 2022) in view of the COVID surge.
Read more about the case here: Allahabad High Court Refuses To Entertain PIL Seeking Postponement Of UP Assembly Polls 2022 Amid COVID Surge
The instant plea, moved by one Rishi Kumar Pandey, the State Head of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Maha Sabha, submitted before the Court that COVID will spread drastically if the election is conducted as per the scheduled as were are currently dealing with the third phase of COVID.
The counsel for the petitioner Shailendra Srivastava submitted before the bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Suresh Kumar Gupta that the dates of the polls should be shifted and the polls should be deferred for a month as it would make no difference if the polls are conducted a month later.
In this regard, the petitioner also referred to Section 15 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and argued that it provides that Assembly Election should be conducted after the completion of the tenure of the exiting Vidhan Sabha and that in special circumstances, the elections could be deferred for a period extending up to 6 months.
Further, when the Counsel for the petitioner argued that "can the elections be held at the cost of people's lives", Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi asked a counter-question "haven't people lost lives while being at homes as well?".
The Court further referred to the plea which has been dismissed recently by the Court seeking postponement of UP Assembly polls. To this, the Counsel put forth certain data showing to drive home the point that sudden spike in Covid- 19 last year was due to the Assembly Elections of West Bengal and UP Gram Panchayat Elections.
On the other hand, the Election Commission of India (ECI) argued that a similar plea had been dismissed by the Court and therefore, the instant plea be also dismissed as the issued being raised in it have already been dealt by the High Court.
Lastly, having heard the arguments of the counsels and the ECI, the Court said that it would 'consider' the plea.
The plea avers that during the pandemic, even the Judiciary has stopped the physical mode of working and has turned into virtual mode and various Private and Public Institutions have also started working from home and Schools and Colleges were also closed, they why the polls have to be conducted by endangering lives of people.
Against this backdrop, the Plea states thus:
"...it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may kindly be passed a suitable direction to the Opposite Parties to postpone the General Legislative Assembly Election-2022 which are going to be held in the month of February 2022 in the State of U.P. due to Corona Pandemic which is very drastically spread in the State as well as nation to protect the safeguard to the interest of the general public, otherwise the general public like, Children's, Old age People, ailing public and employees of the State who involved in the Election Process may suffer an irreparable loss due to this Corona Pandemic."
Case title - Rishi Kumar Trivedi v. Election Commission of Bharat and Anr.