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Covid-19 | EC, govt. failed to foresee ‘disastrous’ impact of polls, says Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court. File  

The Election Commission, the higher courts and the government failed to fathom the disastrous consequences of permitting the elections in a few States and the Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court has noted.

The Uttar Pradesh government is having tough time in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in urban areas and it would be very difficult to conduct tests, detect and treat the village population found suffering from the infection, the High Court further said.

COVID-19, which had not reached the village population in its first wave last year, has now spread to the villages, said Justice Siddharth.

“The State lacks preparation and resources for the same at present,” the court said in an order dated May 10.

The judge made the observations while granting anticipatory bail to a builder in Ghaziabad, accused of allegedly not granting possession of a flat to a person despite the latter having paid over ₹27 lakh.

It said that there is apprehension to the life of accused as well as police and jail personnel if he was arrested. The accused was granted anticipatory bail till January 3, 2022.

The court said that the Supreme Court recently passed several directions to decongest prisons across India.

“The observations and directions of the apex court show concern about overcrowding of jails, and in case this court, ignoring the same, passes an order which will result in overcrowding of jails again it would be quite paradoxical,” it said.

On account of the recent panchayat elections in the State, a large number of FIRs have been lodged in the villages, the court said.

“Even otherwise the crime rate in the villages is quite high in the State. Keeping in view the overall situation of the villages after the Panchayat elections large number of accused persons may be infected and their infection may not have been detected,” the court said.

“Counsel for the State has not given any assurance of protection of the accused persons, who are in jail and may be sent to jail, regarding their protection from contacting the infection of novel coronavirus,” it observed.

The court said that extraordinary times require extraordinary remedies and desperate times require remedial remedies.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 4:34:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-ec-govt-failed-to-foresee-disastrous-impact-of-polls-says-allahabad-hc/article34538276.ece

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