High Court Delhi HC issues notice to Centre, EC on PIL...

Delhi HC issues notice to Centre, EC on PIL seeking bar on poll campaigners for not wearing masks

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission of India on a PIL seeking the Court’s direction to debar the campaigners, if they repeatedly violate the mandatory guidelines of wearing masks issued by the poll panel, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, while hearing the plea filed by Dr Vikram Singh through Advocate Gaurav Pathak, issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Election Commission of India and sought their response by April 30.

“Every person has the fundamental right to life, which is being impacted by political leaders, campaigners, and candidates not wearing the masks during the election process. Once the Election Commission has mandated the compulsory wearing of masks, it is duty-bound to ensure strict compliance of the same,” the plea said.

It further claimed that the failure to not wear a mask invites penalty as well as criminal prosecution. “On many occasions, it has been observed that the general public is arbitrarily penalised for non-wearing of masks, while the high and mighty get away scot-free,” the petition added.

The petitioner stated that it had sent a representation earlier this month, asking the Commission to take strict action against star campaigners of different political parties to ensure that mandatory masking is effectively followed by one and all during the election period. “As election rallies are attended by thousands of persons, even a single COVID positive person can cause the event to become a super spreader,” the petitioner said.

He added that campaigners from Delhi also go to these elections to campaign for their party’s candidate, and criss-cross the country to campaign in every poll-bound state. “When such campaigners from all political parties are not wearing masks, not only they put themselves at risk, but also the common public at large,” the plea contended. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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