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SC stays HC order asking political parties to hold virtual bypoll campaigns

SC on Monday stayed the Madhya Pradesh HC order asking political parties to conduct their campaign for the November 3 assembly bypolls virtually instead of holding physical rallies due to COVID-19

Supreme Court | Madhya Pradesh bypoll | Madhya Pradesh

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


The on Monday stayed the order asking political parties to conduct their campaign for the November 3 assembly bypolls virtually instead of holding physical rallies due to COVID-19.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take an appropriate decision with regard to political rallies as per law and keeping in mind COVID-19 guidelines.

The top court was hearing pleas of the ECI and Energy minister Pradyuman Singh Tomar challenging the high court's order of October 20.

The top court also asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tomar, to make a representation to the ECI for loss of time in electioneering due to HC's order.

The poll panel has assailed the HC order, saying the conduct and management of are overseen by it under the Constitution and Article 329 of the Constitution puts an express bar on judicial interference in midst of electoral process.

The plea said the poll panel's COVID-19 guidelines on election rallies or meetings were formulated on September 25 in exercise of its powers.

As per guidelines and the SOP of the state government, political gatherings of over 100 people with safety measures can be allowed, it said.

Tomar, who is contesting as a BJP candidate from Gwalior constituency for the bypoll in Madhya Pradesh, submitted in his plea that the has erred in its finding as the ECI under Article 324 of Constitution has issued its COVID-19 guidelines dated September 29, permitting physical gatherings for election campaigns subject to specified restrictions.

Bypoll for 28 assembly seats in the state will be held on November 3.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, October 26 2020. 19:24 IST