NEWDELHI : Coronavirus crisis cannot be the ground for stopping the Assembly elections in Bihar, the Supreme Court ruled today, rejecting a petition asking the court to direct the Election Commission to cancel them.

The ongoing pandemic can neither be the ground for cancelling elections nor interfering with the powers of the Election Commission, the top court said, adding that there was no notification by the EC regarding the dates of polling in the state either.  

The petitioner argued before the top court that it should stop the notification for elections. The bench replied: “How can we ask the EC to not hold elections?”

The petitioner insisted that the Representation of People Act says that elections can be deferred in the backdrop of extraordinary situations. The bench replied that it is for the EC to decide and not for the top court.

The bench reiterated that it cannot direct the EC not to hold the elections. The petitioner insisted that human life is paramount and not the elections, as people are suffering due to the coronavirus infection.The bench said it cannot pass such an order. It also observed that the plea cannot be entertained, as it is premature as notification for the state election has not been issued yet.

The petitioner asked the top court to seek a report from the Election Commission and also the state disaster management authority in connection with the prevalent ground situation in the state. The bench said the Election Commission will take care of the situation, and no writ can be applied like this. After a brief hearing on the matter, the top court dismissed the petition.

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