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UP Panchayat Polls: Supreme Court to hold special sitting on safety measures on counting day

The Division Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the State Election Commission and the state of Uttar Pradesh and sought their response to the plea.

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ILNS: The Supreme Court will hold a special sitting on Saturday to hear a petition regarding measures taken by the Uttar Pradesh Government in place for counting of votes in the Panchayat elections. The counting of vote is scheduled for May 2, Sunday.

The division bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the State Election Commission (SEC) and the State of Uttar Pradesh and sought their response to the plea.

Filed by Sachin Yadav through Advocate Mohd Shaz Khan and Advocate-on-Record Talha Abdul Rahman, the petition contended that no COVID-19 protocols are being followed during the elections.

The petitioners referred to a report published on April 15 by medical journal Lancet, which revealed that there was strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was spreading by airborne transmission.

The petitioners also referred to an order of the Allahabad High Court, which issued various directions to the Uttar Pradesh government, in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

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The Allahabad High Court had earlier declined to grant relief to the petitioner and allowed the commencement of elections with a direction that necessary care as such shall be taken by the state to prevent the spread of infection during the course of elections.

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