The Supreme Court on Saturday allowed the state election commission in Uttar Pradesh to hold counting of votes for the panchayat elections tomorrow for after raising concerns and citing a petition from a teachers’ body that said 700 teachers had died while on duty during elections.
The court insisted that senior officials should make Covid protocol is followed at all the counting centres, NDTV reported.
While hearing the petition, Supreme Court had asked the poll commission if it could delay the counting. The counting is scheduled for tomorrow.
“Despite the situation, you need to go ahead? Can you have it after two weeks so that the medical facilities can be improved?” the court reportedly said.
The state Election Commission, however, said, “We have taken a decision to go ahead.”
The Supreme Court had on Friday sought response from the Uttar Pradesh government and the state election commission (SEC) on a plea seeking direction for observance of COVID-19 protocols in counting of votes on Sunday.
Uttar Pradesh has been reporting massive surge in fresh COVID-19 cases. Polling for the four-phased Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh ended on April 29.
The first phase on April 15 and the second round on April 19 recorded a turnout of 71 per cent. In the third phase on April 26, 73.5 per cent of registered voters turned out to exercise their franchise, officials said.