- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction for the Chairman of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Disaster Management Authority to ensure that steps are taken to prevent any elections from being held till normalcy returns given the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19.
To this end, the petition filed by Advocate D. Narendra Reddy. urges the Court to direct the NEC Chairman to issue necessary advisories to the State Election Commissions.
The petitioner states that after a total, nation-wide lockdown was announced on March 24 and enforced from March 25, various steps have been taken by the authorities to ensure its implementation in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
It is further pointed out that the functioning of Courts across the country has also been restricted to just urgent matters, with steps being taken to conduct the proceedings through video conferencing, keeping in view the norms of social distancing.
In view of the situation, the biennial elections for 18 seats in the Rajya Sabha also stood deferred and elections for the Upper Houses of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Bihar were also postponed. The petitioner, however, says that all the polls, including those of local bodies, ought to be further deferred to ensure the safety of the voters.
Since polling requires the members of the electorate to gather at polling stations, and the same would jeopardise the health of the people, the petitioner highlights. Additionally, if polls are not deferred at a time like this, there may be a low voter turnout and the end goal of the electoral democracy may not be achieved to its fullest, it is added.
Therefore, the petitioner contends that the Respondent Authorities are obliged under the provisions of law to ensure that all steps are taken for the deferment of all polls across the country until normalcy returns.