The Allahabad High Court has refused to postpone UP panchayat elections due to Covid-19 surge, saying that the state has declared protocol that has to be adhered to during the poll process.
Dismissing a PIL, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery observed, “The state government, while notifying elections in Panchayat Raj institutions has already declared a protocol to be adhered during the election campaign of the elections. This court has also issued certain directions in Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to corona pandemic, for the state government to follow during the entire process of elections.
“All necessary care as such shall be taken by the state government to prevent spread of infection during the course of Panchayat Raj elections. Hence, the PIL is dismissed.”
This petition, said to be in public interest, sought a direction for the state government to postpone the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Election scheduled from April 15, 2021.
As per the petition, looking to the massive surge in coronavirus infection in different parts of the state, it would be against public interest to hold the panchayat elections in rural areas.
According to the petition, the elections would be causing enormous injury to the health of public at large and that would be in contravention to Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which provides protection of life and personal liberty.
After hearing rival submissions, the court dismissed the PIL.