The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed two pleas seeking for a direction to the Chief Election Commissioner for the postponement of the impending Bihar Assembly Elections on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State being ravaged due to floods.
The petitioner argued that the Representation of People Act, 1951 allowed for elections to be deferred due to extraordinary situations. He further urged that, “Election was not paramount; human life is paramount. Even MLAs are dying and people are suffering”.
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, heard the above pertaining matter and observed that the plea was premature as the Election Commissioner of Inida had yet to issue a notification announcing the declaration of the elections in the State.
Although the bench was not inclined to allow the petition and informed the Counsel that such orders could not be passed, and that it was for the ECI to decide.
The bench had their view pints regarding the dismissal of the plea, Justice Bhushan stated that the plea was “misconceived” and could not be allowed under Article 32 of the Constitution as the election was yet to be declared, and therefore, the petitioners could not cite the pandemic as the reason to seek for the postponement of the elections. He also remarked that “COVID is not a ground for postponement of elections”.
On the other hand, Justice Shah stated that the Election Commission would take the ground realities into consideration and ensure that sufficient precautions were taken before conducting the elections. Said so, both the petitions got dismissed.