Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Uttarakhand HC asks EC if virtual rallies, online voting viable options

A division bench of the High Court comprising acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Misra and Justice N S Dhanik posed the question to the EC while hearing a PIL on Wednesday seeking postponement of the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttarakhand in view of the rising cases of COVID-19 and its latest variant Omicron.

By Mallika Mehzabeen
Thu, 06 Jan 2022 02:05 PM IST
Minute Read
Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Uttarakhand HC asks EC if virtual rallies, online voting viable options
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Nainital | PTI: The Uttarakhand High Court has asked the Election Commission of India whether it is possible to hold election rallies virtually and online voting in the upcoming state assembly polls.

A division bench of the High Court comprising acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Misra and Justice N S Dhanik posed the question to the EC while hearing a PIL on Wednesday seeking postponement of the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttarakhand in view of the rising cases of COVID-19 and its latest variant Omicron.

Besides asking the EC to explore whether it is possible to hold poll rallies virtually, the High Court also asked it whether it would also be possible to provide for online method of voting.

It was claimed in the PIL that election rallies are being held in Uttarakhand even though an application is pending before the court relating to finding an alternative to these rallies or to ban them, if need be.

While the PIL has been filed seeking postponement of the elections, the High Court has asked the EC to think about alternative methods such as virtual rallies.

Advocate for the petitioner Shiv Bhatt drew the court's attention towards the fact that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got infected with corona a day after holding a rally in Dehradun recently.

He said rallies can be dangerous for people not only due to the fact that they lead to large gatherings but also because the latest Omicron variant of corona can spread much faster than its predecessors. The court directed the EC to file a reply before January 12 when the PIL is to be heard next.

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