Plea In Supreme Court Against The Conduct Of UP Gram Panchayat Raj Elections Amid ‘Exponential’ Surge In COVID-19 Cases

first_imgTop StoriesPlea In Supreme Court Against The Conduct Of UP Gram Panchayat Raj Elections Amid ‘Exponential’ Surge In COVID-19 Cases LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK19 April 2021 12:53 AMShare This – xA petition has been moved in the Supreme Court against the order of the Allahabad High Court allowing the Uttar Pradesh Gram Panchayat Raj Election to continue amid the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. “It is relevant to state that till 16.04.2021 State of Uttar Pradesh is everyday observing highest record breaking single day surge in cases of the COVID cases.The surge has…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA petition has been moved in the Supreme Court against the order of the Allahabad High Court allowing the Uttar Pradesh Gram Panchayat Raj Election to continue amid the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. “It is relevant to state that till 16.04.2021 State of Uttar Pradesh is everyday observing highest record breaking single day surge in cases of the COVID cases.The surge has absolutely paralysed public life and all the medical aid systems have reached to a stage of complete saturation”, the petition reads. The petition by Sachin Yadav through Advocate Talha Abdul Rahman avers that the State Election Commission has been directing employees of the State Government to report for training, which as per the petitioner is not being held with adequate social distancing.Citing the rise in cases and the consequent toll on the healthcare sector, the petitioner prays for leave to appeal, and in the interim, a stay on the Allahabad High Court order allowing the election to continue and a deferral of the polls till the situation in the State returns to normal.Additionally, the petitioner also seeks that the further phases of elections in the state are stayed until the State Election Commission is advised by the State Medical Department and independent doctors and that the situation ‘is conducive’ to complete the remaining phases of the elections. The plea takes the stance that the training and transit of the government employees would be likely to spread the virus to areas that are relatively less affected, and therefore calls upon the State Election Commission to take a decision immediately deferring the remaining phases of elections. Additionally, it is argued that the Allahabad High Court’s order was passed “without taking into account any data or statistics or examining for itself what the election process entails.” Quoting statistics, the plea asserts that the cases of COVID-19 are on the ascent, and observes that the actual picture on the ground may be much worse. The plea, with photographs, alleges that the first phase of the election on April 15 saw “a huge turn out of the people has been seen where no COVID Protocols were been followed which risked the lives of “voters, officer on duty and other people with whom such a huge number of people will come in contact.” Against this backdrop the petitioner states, “It is most respectfully submitted that the amid such a critical ,grave and grim situation the UP State Election Commission bluntly has proceeded further with Gram Panchayat Raj Election in accordance with notification dated 26.03.2021 issued by the State Election Commission ignoring the risk of super spread of the virus and exposing the life of the general public.” The petition extracts a copy of the Allahabad High Court’s Order in suo motu proceedings last year wherein it stated, “We must give priority to public health over elections and Government is expected to streamline every department of public health and public care in the light of the observations made” Averring that the High Court has not exercised the jurisdiction vested with it, the petitioner states that no Constitutional provision that comes in the way of deferring the elections since does not challenge the election process per se. Additionally stating that the petitioner had submitted a representation to the UP State Election, which was not acted upon, the plea prays that the election is deferred till the situation stabilises. Contending that its hands are tied by the Allahabad High Court’s orders, the petitioner states that only the Supreme Court would be able to provide the reliefs prayed for.CASE: Sachin Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors.COUNSEL: Advocate Mohd Shaz Khan, Advocate Talha Abdul RahmanNext Storylast_img read more