April 1, 2023

HC to ECI, PM: Consider putting off UP polls in view of Omicron | India News – Times of India

PRAYAGRAJ: The Allahabad high court has requested the Election Commission of India and the Prime Minister to consider postponing the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, slated to be held in February next year, by a month or two in view of the sudden rise in the number of Covid-19 cases caused by the new variant, Omicron.
Observing that ‘Jaan hai toh Jahan hai’ (the world has a meaning only if you are alive), Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav, while hearing a bail petition, said that if people are able to survive this pandemic, elections and rallies could be held later. “Our Constitution has given us the right to life under Article 21,” he said.
Justice Yadav started by expressing concern over the rising number of Covid cases. “In view of this growing menace, several countries like China, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Scotland have imposed partial or total lockdown,” he said, adding “the third wave is knocking at our door. We have seen the devastation in the second wave. A large number of people were infected during the panchayat polls and West Bengal elections.”
“Now, UP elections are round the corner. Parties are holding rallies attended by lakhs of people where it’s impossible to follow Covid protocol. If it’s not stopped in time, the results would be more devastating than the second wave,” the court said.
Requesting the ECI to ban election rallies, the single bench said: “Election rallies of political parties should be banned to save the public from the third wave of Corona. The parties should be asked to campaign through Doordarshan and newspapers.”
The court then goes on to add “if possible, consider postponing the election, because rallies and meetings could be held later when we all survive,” the court said.
Further praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his government’s initiatives towards “free vaccination” in a country with a huge population, the court also made similar requests to him.
“He is admirable and the court admires him and requests the Prime Minister to take strict steps in view of the situation of this dreadful epidemic. Consider stopping and postponing rallies, meetings and upcoming elections because ‘jaan hai toh jahan hai’,” the order says.
The court directed that a copy of the order be sent to the Registrar General of Allahabad high court, Election Commission and the Central government.

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