The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a petition seeking postponement of the Bihar Assembly elections due to the spread of coronavirus.
A petition was filed by Avinash Thakur seeking directions from the court to the Chief Election Commissioner to postpone the elections till Bihar gets free from Covid-19.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah was hearing the petition and has left it to the Election Commission decide the schedule.
The apex court also said that the petition is premature as the Election Commission of India is yet to declare the schedule for the Bihar Assembly elections.
Citing the Representation of People Act, the petitioner contended that the Act allows the deferment of the elections in extraordinary situations.
Last week, the Election Commission had issued the broad guidelines for the conduct of the election.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, the ECI had sought suggestions of the National/State Political Parties for the conduct of elections.
As per the guidelines, a maximum of 1,000 voters can be present at any polling booth at a time, and every voter’s body temperature will be checked before the person is allowed to enter the booth.
Face Mask, Sanitizer, Thermal scanners, gloves, face shield and PPE kits shall be used during the electoral process ensuring social distancing norms. Hand gloves shall be provided to all the electors for signing on the voter register and pressing button of EVM for voting.
Ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, BJP chief JP Nadda on Sunday said that the party will fight the election under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Nadda was addressing the party’s Bihar working committee via video conferencing. He expressed confidence in the alliance of BJP, JD (U) and LJP in the state and said, “We will fight Bihar polls together and emerge victoriously.”
India on Friday reported the worst single-day spike in the world with a record 77,266 fresh Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the tally to 33,87,501. As many as 1,057 fatalities were reported in the same period pushing the death toll to 61,529, Union Health Ministry data shows.