Karnataka HC objected State Decision to Postpone Local Body Polls

Karnataka High Court Law Insider
Karnataka High Court Law Insider

Aishwarya Rathore

Published on August 05, 2021, at 04:59 PM 

The Karnataka High Court bench has objected to the State Government’s decision to ask the Election Commission to postpone local body polls due to the Covid crisis. 

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Oka questioned the State Government’s decision, saying, “If people can go to religious places, why can’t they go to the voting centres.” 

The Bench has directed the Government to submit an affidavit with clarification in this regard. 

It must be noted here that people go to temples by choice, while voting is a constitutional duty.

The State Government, led by former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa made the cabinet decision on May 17. The Election Commission was advised to conduct long-pending local body elections by the end of December.

The High Court has taken up a suo moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in order to issue directions to the Election Commission and the State Government. 

The Bench questioned, “The cabinet decision was made much earlier. Today, things have changed. Covid rules have been relaxed. Religious centres, malls have opened. Then, why can’t the Government conduct elections.”

The Government advocate informed the Court that the decision was taken against the backdrop of the Second Covid wave.

The Bench asked, “It is the constitutional obligation of the government to conduct elections within the time frame. Has it been excluded?”

The High Court observed that the local bodies have completed their term and timely elections should be conducted. 

Also read: Supreme Court bashes Tamil Nadu Election Commission: “Covid is a good excuse”

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