The Supreme Court rejected to adjourn the counting of the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Elections after a special sitting held on Saturday. The counting is scheduled to take place tomorrow amongst the concern of about spread of COVID transmission. A division of Bench containing Justices AM Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy granted the counting to take place tomorrow keeping in view the ‘solemn assurances’ promised by the Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission that ample protection has been taken to make sure that COVID protocol is followed at the counting centers.
Advocate Shoeb Alam from the petitioner’s side, submitted before the bench that the counting centers can turn out to be “beds of infections”. The bench was also notified that many teachers, who have been assigned counting duty, have expressed apprehensions about performing the duty amid the COVID surge. Alam also informed the bench that several teachers who attended the election duty have later succumbed to COVID, and the Allahabad High Court has taken cognizance of the same.
The bench contended that it was not deposed to interfere with the counting process in the light of the assurances given by the State Election Commission that necessary measures.
The Hon’ble court had rejected the request for diverging the recording by recording the submissions of SEC that all protocols will be observed in letter and spirit. Senior Advocate Aishwarya Bhati, the counsel for State Election Commission said the bench that a Class 1 Officer of the State Government will be allocated to keep an eye on each of the 800 counting centers and will be held chargeable for the counting centers. It was also informed that the counting centers are provided with CCTV cameras and all the footages will be preserved and strict curfew will be inflicted in areas that will be recognized by the authorities concerned in and around counting centers to make sure that only permitted representatives will be able to visit the counting centers.