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Rashtravadi Janata Party Moves SC Seeking Postponement Of Bihar Polls Citing Floods, COVID-19

Sanya Talwar
7 Sep 2020 4:00 PM GMT
Rashtravadi Janata Party Moves SC Seeking Postponement Of Bihar Polls Citing Floods, COVID-19

The Rashtravadi Janata Party has filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking issuance of directions to postpone the Bihar Legislative Assembly Election, scheduled for the month of October-November.

The plea has sought postponement of the Bihar Legislative Assembly elections in light of the rising covid cases in the country. It has also highlighted that the State is undergoing a "flood situation" and it would be "better for the safety of the people of India to hold the said election sometime in the month of March, 2021 when the situation in the State is somewhat normalised so that the citizen can participate and cast their votes safely and without there being any threat of either of prevailing Corona Virus (Covid19 ) pandemic or the flood etc."

The plea also stipulates that the petitioner had put forth a representation on June 20th the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India but till date, no decision on the said representation had been taken by the EC.

The National President of Rashtravadi Janata Party stipulates that under these extraordinary circumstances, the Government should not take such a risk of giving them the burden of casting their votes in this dire situation.

"That it is submitted that currently most of the countries in the entire world are suffering from Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic and India has almost become the epic centre of the said pandemic. India is a developing country and has a vast population and taking into consideration the vast population and the medical facilities in our country in comparison to the developed countries like USA and other European Countries, there is every likelihood that this pandemic will go on further and consequently the life of the peoples of India is in danger," the plea states.

On August 28, the top court dismissed two pleas seeking a direction to the Chief Election Commissioner for the postponement of the impending Bihar Assembly Elections on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State being ravaged due to floods.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah had heard the matter and observed that the plea was premature as the Election Commission of India had yet to issue a notification announcing the declaration of the elections in the State.

The Petitioner argued before the Court that the Representation of People Act, 1951 allowed for elections to be deferred due to extraordinary situations. He further submitted, "Election was not paramount; human life is paramount. Even MLAs are dying and people are suffering."

However, the bench was not inclined to allow the plea and informed the Counsel that such orders could not be passed, and that it was for the ECI to decide.

Justice Bhushan had stated that the plea was "misconceived" and could not be allowed under Article 32 of the Constitution as the election was yet to be declared, and therefore, the Petitioners could not cite the pandemic as the reason to seek for the postponement of the elections.

"COVID is not a ground for postponement of elections. This court cannot tell CEC what to do. It will consider everything", Justice Bhushan remarked.

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