Uttarakhand HC issues notices over plea for deferment of state polls
PILs have been filed by Sachdanand Dabral, Dushyant Mainali, Anu Pant and Rajendra Arya related to various issues regarding the fight against the pandemic in the state.
Dehradun: The Uttarakhand high court will hear on January 3 a plea seeking postponement of assembly elections in the state in the wake of the threat posed by the omicron variant of coronavirus.
Shiv Bhatt, counsel of petitioner of Sachdanand Dabral, said on Wednesday that a division bench of acting chief justices Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and Narayan Singh Dhanik issued these directions on an application filed by him in connection with PILs related to the Covid-19 situation in the state -- which are being heard by the HC on a regular basis.
The PILs have been filed by Sachdanand Dabral, Dushyant Mainali, Anu Pant and Rajendra Arya related to various issues regarding the fight against the pandemic in the state.
Bhatt said that based on his plea, the election commission of India has been a made a party in the case. He said counsels appearing for EC and the state government have been asked to obtain instructions on his application and the case has been listed for further hearing on Monday.
Shobit Saharia, counsel representing the EC, said that following the plea, ECI was impleaded as a party in the case and instructions have been sought from ECI in the matter.
In his application, Bhatt has attached photographs of election rallies in the state, pointing out that distancing protocol was not observed in such rallies and participants were not wearing face masks.
The plea pointed out that in view of the new Omicron variant spreading approximately 318% faster than the earlier variants and considering the level of medical infrastructure in the state, it is “imperative that either the assembly Elections be postponed or the political parties be directed to do the election rallies/meetings through web/online”.
Uttarakhand has reported four cases of the Omicron variant so far. Following these developments, on Monday, the state government announced night curfew in the state from 11 pm-5 am. According to the order, essential services including health services, internet, DTH, petrol pumps and industrial activities will be allowed during the curfew period.