The Supreme Court in Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Election Commission to refrain from holding upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar “till the state is declared COVID-19 and flood free”.
A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan refused to hear plea seeking postponement of Bihar elections and asked the petitioner Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal, a resident of Bihar, to approach the Election Commission of India for the same.
“How can we ask ECI to not hold elections? COVID is not a valid reason for the postponement of the election,” the bench said.
When the counsel appearing for the petitioner told the bench that the Representation of People Act says election can be deferred due to extraordinary situation, the bench said it is for the ECI to decide on the matter and added that the court cannot direct poll panel to not hold elections.
The plea sought directions that Election Commission be directed not to recommend to the State of Bihar to publish notification of election in official gazette till February or until the competent authority declares Bihar as COVID-19 and flood free.
It said that Election Commission has shown complete “unawareness” of the extraordinary circumstances and prohibition in the whole country and more particularly the constituencies which are likely to go for polls.
Election Commission has convinced itself that free and fair elections could be held even when the public meetings are banned as well as extremely hazardous to the candidates to contest or indulge in election propaganda, the plea said.