Amid rising covid 19 cases in the state uttarakhand. High court on 5th January 2022 asked the election commission of India to consider virtual rallies and online voting for the upcoming Assembly election in the state. Hearing a petition filed by Haridwar resident Sachidanand Dabral through Advocacy Shiv Bhatt a division bench of Additional chief Justice S.K.Mishra and Justice Alok kumar verma asked the poll panel to take a decision and inform the court in the next hearing on January 12 2022.
“ let the election commission of India consider issuing appropriate directions prohibiting large public rallies for the ensuing election for the Uttarakhand state legislative Assembly and to take a decision. The election commission shall also consider issuing appropriate directions for the campaigning in virtual mode we also request the election commission of India to consider… virtual voting in future” the court said.
Advocacy Shiv Bhatt told the Indian Express that the petition had sought stopping of election rallies as they might turn into super – spreader Events. “ we requested the court to postpone the election rallies. On this, the court asked the ECI to consider prohibiting election rallies. The court also suggested that when all things, including court functioning, can take place online, why can’t we consider online elections” said Bhatt.
In his application, the petitioners said that given the covid situation in the state and large- scale vacancies in the medical sector. “ It is imperative that either the assembly elections be postponed or the political parties be directed to do the election rallies/meeting through web/ online.
The petition said election in the state is expected in February-march for which all political parties are holding “enormous” election rallies. “ It is pertinent to state here that in the election rallies neither social distancing was followed nor people have worn masks” the petition said