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Covid-19: Supreme Court to hold special sitting today on safety arrangements made by UP govt for vote counting of Panchayat polls

The division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the State Election Commission (SEC) 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 arrangements made by the Uttar Pradesh Government on social distancing and Covid-19 protection protocol during the counting of votes for the Panchayat elections which were held on April 29 in various villages. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 2.

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

In the petition filed by Sachin Yadav through Advocate Mohd Shaz Khan and Advocate-on-Record Talha Abdul Rahman, it has been 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.

Read Also: Supreme Court dismisses plea by ED against cancellation of provisional attachment of property order under PMLA

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

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