New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed Monday a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission (EC) to advance poll timings to 5.30am from 7.00am for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls in view of searing heat and the month of Ramzan.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna rejected the plea, stating that the notified timing of voting are from 7.00am to 6.00pm and voters can cast vote in the morning also.
“The timings are from 7.00am to 6.00pm. People can come in the morning to cast their votes. They (EC) will face logistical problem (if timings are advanced),” the bench told advocate Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha who had filed the petition.
May 2, the top court had asked the poll panel to pass ‘necessary orders’ on a representation seeking advancing of voting timing for the remaining phase of Lok Sabha polls, which the EC had rejected on May 5. The poll panel had turned down Pasha’s representation as being ‘administratively not feasible’.
Following the poll panel’s decision, Pasha had approached the apex court with his plea,
“The reasoning given by the respondent (EC) in its order dated May 5 is ex-facie self contradictory as the respondent claims it has already taken acute hot weather conditions and festivals into account in fixing poll timing but still has passed orders fixing the same standard polling hours that are issued in every election at any time in any part of the country,” the plea had said.
The plea had also said the India Meteorological Department has issued warning indicating severe heatwave conditions over the next few days in poll-bound areas of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
Polling for the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections will be held, May 19.