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'Why Can't You Vote on a Holy Day': SC Refuses Urgent Hearing Over Polling on 'Maundy Thursday'

Appearing for a Catholic Christian association from Tamil Nadu, the lawyer requested a bench headed by Justice SA Bobde to urgently hear the petition on postponing the polling date in view of the religious observance.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 4, 2019, 11:48 AM IST
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'Why Can't You Vote on a Holy Day': SC Refuses Urgent Hearing Over Polling on 'Maundy Thursday'
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New Delhi: “Why can’t you vote on a holy day?” questioned the Supreme Court on Thursday as it refused to grant an urgent hearing to a plea by a Christian body against the polling in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on April 17 which is observed as ‘Maundy Thursday’.

Appearing for a Catholic Christian association from Tamil Nadu, the lawyer requested a bench headed by Justice SA Bobde to urgently hear the petition on postponing the polling date in view of the religious observance.

The lawyer claimed that it would be inconvenient for people to come to churches and make arrangements for the religious services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. “We have to pray,” said the lawyer, urging the bench to call upon the Election Commission and change the date of polling in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

But the bench retorted: “Why can’t you vote on a holy day? Are you saying that you cannot cast your vote on a holy day?” Justice Bobde then declined the prayer to list the matter for early hearing.

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are slated to vote on April 18.

Various church bodies and Christian organisations have objected to the election date since it coincided with the Maundy Thursday. It has been contended that this would not be conducive for people of the Christian community. It has also been pointed out that Christian teachers would not be able to attend service that day since they would be deployed on the election duty and that many of the polling stations are in schools inside church campuses.

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