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In View of Repeated Violations of COVID-19 Guidelines, ECI Directed to Ensure Compliance by Delhi HC

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election commission of India - law insider

Priyanka Singh

Published on: September 9, 2022 at 20:45 IST

The Delhi High Court directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday to ensure that the participants follow the COVID-19 norms during elections.

A plea by ex-DGP and Chairman of CASC was being heard by the Court against election candidates accused of violating COVID-19 Guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India which included the usage of masks and prohibition of mass gatherings.

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, while disposing a PIL seeking disqualification of candidates of political parties from campaigning in the upcoming elections on context of holding of large public rallies, passed the directions to the Election Commission of India to ensure that the participant parties abide by the COVID-19 Guidelines.

The plea by former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police and the Chairman of Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), Dr. Vikram Singh was heard in view of the past election rallies being conducted with grave neglect of Guidelines, causing a hazard to public health and safety.

Singh’s Advocate, Virag Gupta, informed the Bench that the ECI too had taken note of their Guidelines being violated. Therefore, an initiation of action against offenders is a much needed move.

As per the Commission’s Guidelines, the organizers of such rallies that prompt violations shall be acted against sternly, including criminal proceedings against such organizers.

In its defense, the Commission stated that it has already acted against the violating parties, and that, there is currently no such COVID-19 pandemic situation in existence.

The Commission assured its vigilance on the upcoming actions of the participants, in case of situations alike COVID-19 and that it shall certainly enact appropriately referring to the Guidelines.