Bihar elections: COVID-19 no ground for postponing polls, says Supreme Court

IANS
Friday, 28 August 2020

Supreme Court on Friday said Covid-19 cannot be a ground for postponing elections in Bihar

The Supreme Court on Friday said Covid-19 cannot be a ground for postponing elections, as it declined to entertain a petition seeking postponement of the Assembly elections in Bihar till the state is free from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said Covid-19 cannot be a ground for postponement of elections, and the court cannot tell Election Commission, what should be done on this issue.

The petitioner argued before the top court that it should stop the notification for elections. The bench replied, "How can we ask the EC to not hold elections?"

The petitioner insisted that the Representation of People Act says that elections can be deferred in the backdrop of extraordinary situations. The bench replied that it is for the EC to decide and not for the top court. The bench reiterated that it cannot direct the EC not to hold the elections.

The petitioner insisted that human life is paramount and not the elections, as people are suffering due to the coronavirus infection. The bench said it cannot pass such an order. It also observed that the plea cannot be entertained, as it is premature as notification for the state election has not been issued yet.

The petitioner asked the top court to seek a report from the Election Commission and also the state disaster management authority in connection with the prevalent ground situation in the state. The bench said the Election Commission will take care of the situation, and no writ can be applied like this. After a brief hearing on the matter, the top court dismissed the petition.

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