The Madras High court on 21st January 2022 Friday declined to entertain plea from a public interest litigation petitioner to restrain the Tamilnadu state Election Commission (TNSEC) from notifying the date for holding elections to urban local bodies in the state. Wondering as to how the notification of the election process can be stayed when the supreme court had granted four months time to tamilnadu to hold elections and same would come to an end on January 27, the first bench of Acting chief Justice M.N.Bandari and justice P.D.Audikedavalu rejected the plea.
The matters stands adjourned till January 24, when the same would be heard physically . The PILS from Dr M.Nakkeeran, former Joint Director of the health department and another, appealed to the court to postpone the elections to the urban local bodies in view of the spurt in covid-19 cases due to the third wave.
The senior counsels representing the petitioners contended that the TNSEC was not taking stock of the ground reality on the surging covid virus infections. It had not even reviewed the number of containment zones in the places where the polls are proposed to be held. The safety of the citizens would be at stake if the polls are conducted and no harm would be caused of it is postponed beyond two months, when the situation eased or improved, they said, adding that when the supreme court had set the deadline for holding the polls , the pandemic situation then was different.
In the interest of public health and safety, the polls should be deferred, they added. TNSEC counsel submitted that the poll notification ought to be issued by January 27 as per the orders of the supreme court. All precautionary measure and standard operating procedures that were in place following issuance of a notification earlier before holding the elections to the local bodies in rural areas, would be strictly enforced, he added.