Supreme Court Dismisses PIL For Deferring Bihar Elections, Says Covid Can’t Be Ground For Postponing Polls
The Supreme Court stands in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court Dismisses PIL For Deferring Bihar Elections, Says Covid Can’t Be Ground For Postponing Polls

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking to defer the Bihar assembly polls till the state is free of the novel coronavirus, stating that Covid-19 cannot be ground for postponing elections.

The Election Commission of India will consider everything, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said. The bench, also comprising Justices RS Reddy and MR Shah, said it is a premature petition as no notification for the assembly polls has been issued till date.

The petitioner, Avinash Thakur, had sought a direction to the Chief Election Commissioner to postpone the polls due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on the ground that the Representation of the People Act provides for the deferment of polls in extraordinary situations.

“How can we ask the Election Commission of India to not hold elections? Covid cannot be a valid ground for postponement of elections,” the bench stated.

The petitioner's counsel said the RP Act provides for the deferment of polls due to an extraordinary situation. To this the bench said it is for the ECI to decide and the court cannot direct the poll panel not to hold elections.

The petitioner's counsel also argued that elections are not paramount but human life is, and even MLAs and common people are suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench said it cannot pass orders for the deferment of polls and that the ECI will take into account every situation.

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