High Court Delhi HC seeks response from Centre, EC on violation...

Delhi HC seeks response from Centre, EC on violation of COVID protocol by poll candidates/campaigners

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New Delhi, Mar 22 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today sought response from both the Central government, as well as the Election Commission, over a petition seeking to debar campaigners and candidates, permanently or for a sufficiently long period, who repeatedly violated the mandatory COVID-19 protocols issued by the Election Commission.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued the notice to the Centre and the EC on a petition filed by Advocate Virag Gupta, on behalf of Dr Vikram Singh, former Director General (Police) of Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner informed the court that while announcing the elections for the State Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, the Election Commission mandated that every person shall wear face mask during every election-related activity.

According to Dr Singh, the same was not being followed by campaigners and political leaders, impacting the fundamental right to life of all.

“Election rallies are attended by thousands of persons, even a single Covid positive person can cause the event to become a super spreader…the Election Commission has issued the necessary directive, but is failing to implement the same,” said the petition. He further informed the Court that he had sent a representation to the authorities, but was yet to receive a reply.

Appearing for the Commission, Advocate Sidhant Kumar objected to the maintainability of the petition on the ground that elections were not taking place within the jurisdiction of the High Court. The matter would be heard next on April 30. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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