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SC Asks ECI To Check Whether Voting Time Can Be Preponed To 5am During Ramzan [Read Petition]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
2 May 2019 5:52 AM GMT
SC Asks ECI To Check Whether Voting Time Can Be Preponed To 5am During Ramzan [Read Petition]
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"In this intense heat, it will be very difficult for Muslim voters to queue up at the polling booths during the day in the intense heat to exercise their franchise", the petitioners stated in PIL

The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission of India to pass necessary orders in a representation which sought voting time to be preponed from 7 am to 5 am in the rest of the phases of General Elections scheduled during Ramzan month. The bench passed this order in a Public Interest Litigation filed by two lawyers seeking extension of polling hours during the 5th, 6th and 7th phases...

The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission of India to pass necessary orders in a representation which sought voting time to be preponed from 7 am to 5 am in the rest of the phases of General Elections scheduled during Ramzan month.

The bench passed this order in a Public Interest Litigation filed by two lawyers seeking extension of polling hours during the 5th, 6th and 7th phases of the General Elections 2019 in the Ramzan month.

The petitioners sought a direction to Election Commission of India to extend polling hours during elections to take place on May 6, 2019, May 12, 2019 and May 19, 2019, respectively, by 2 - 2.5 hours so as to commence at 4:30 (or 5:00 AM depending on logistical and administrative pressures) instead of the notified time of 7:00 AM.

In the PIL, the petitioners stated that in the present weather conditions, a lot of Muslims will be unable to go out to exercise their franchise once the day's heat commences. They said

"During this month, a large percentage of the voting population, i.e. adult Muslims, both men and women, young and old alike will be fasting and will not be consuming food or water starting approximately 1.5 hour before dawn till dusk every day… , In this intense heat, it will be very difficult for Muslim voters to queue up at the polling booths during the day in the intense heat to exercise their franchise. During Ramzaan, most practicing Muslims stay up / wake up for an early morning meal called Sehri and sleep after the morning Fajr prayer. Thereafter, they avoid going out in the heat to the extent possible to avoid thirst, dehydration and the possibility of a heatstroke. "

The lawyers said that they have already filed a representation before the Election commission highlighting the above grievances. 

Read Order here

Read Petition



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