Days after the Madras High Court hit out at the Election Commission over allowing polls amid Covid-19 outbreak, the Madhya Pradesh HC in Jabalpur on Tuesday ordered strict adherence to coronavirus guidelines during the counting of votes for Damoh Assembly by-polls. The court told Damoh administration to ensure that no victory procession or rally is allowed after the announcement of the poll result, due on May 2.
The court’s direction came while the principal beach was hearing on a PIL by two lawyers seeking ‘action’ against the Election Commission of India for holding elections in MP and other states during the pandemic. The court, however, refused to intervene in the violation of Covid-19 rules during the elections held in other states, and disposed of the petition filed by advocates Phool Chand Paliwal and Umesh Trivedi.
The double bench of the high court, comprising of Chief Justice Md Rafiq and Justice Atul Sridharan, declined to pass any order on the petitioners' demand of acting against the EC and the State Election Commission.
said that the HC ordered Damoh collector to ensure that all safety guidelines are followed in counting and no victory procession or political activity is held after the announcement of result at Damoh.
The counsel for the Election Commission, Advocate Siddharth Seth, said that the EC will stick to the directives issued by the court for May 2, adding that the court referred to constitutional provisions for not interfering in the ongoing poll processes in other states.