New Delhi, Mar 18 (ILNS) A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court today, seeking court’s direction to the Election Commission of India and the Central government to debar the campaigners, if they repeatedly violated the mandatory guidelines regarding wearing of masks issued by the poll panel, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition, filed by Dr Vikram Singh through Advocate Gaurav Pathak, is likely to come up for hearing in the coming week.
“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.
The petition further claimed that the failure to 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 plea said.
The petitioner further stated that it had sent a representation earlier this month, asking the Election Commission to take strict action against the star campaigners of different political parties, ensuring that mandatory mask wearing 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 plea said.
The plea further said 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 said. ILNS/ANB/SNG/RJ