COVID spike due to EC, govt short-sightedness to hold Assembly elections, UP Panchayat poll: Allahabad HC

The HC observed that due to holding of these polls, COVID-19, which had not reached the village population in its first wave, has now spread to the villages in Uttar Pradesh

Representative image
Representative image

NH Web Desk

The Election Commission of India, higher courts, and the government failed to fathom the disastrous consequences of permitting the elections held recently in a few states and the Panchayat elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court observed on Monday

A Single Bench of Justice Siddhartha observed that due to such short-sightedness, there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in UP and the deadly virus, which had not reached the village population in its first wave, has now spread to the villages, Live Law has reported.

Earlier, the High Court had pulled up the State Election Commission for death of 135 polling officers in Uttar Pradesh due to COVID-19, purportedly because the social distancing norms were not followed at counting areas.

The High Court had also observed that the UP Government had gone complacent in keeping a vigil due to which it could not protect its citizens from the onslaught of the pandemic in its second wave.

Now, the High Court has also included the higher court in the list of authorities whose oversight led to the worsening situation across the state (and the nation).

It is noteworthy that the Supreme Court had permitted counting of the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections amid concerns about spread of COVID infection.

The Single Bench also noted that when the state government is already having a tough time in controlling the spread of the virus in urban areas, it would be very difficult to conduct the test, detect and treat the village population found suffering from novel corona virus.

"The state lacks preparation and resources for the same at present," it remarked.

These observations were made in an anticipatory bail application filed by one Prateek Jain. He had sought pre-arrest on apprehension of death in case he is arrested and put in the prison system.

While allowing his petition, the Single Bench observed that on account of the recent Panchayat elections in UP, a large number of FIRs have been lodged in the villages. Even otherwise, the crime rate in the villages is quite high in the state, it said.

"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 Bench noted while allowing the petition.

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