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Uttarakhand Assembly polls cannot be deferred as EC has issued notification, says High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday said that the state Assembly elections cannot be deferred as the Election Commission has issued the notifications for the polls, reported The Times of India.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Chauhan and Justice NS Dhanik made the statement while hearing a bunch of petitions related to the coronavirus situation in the country. One of the petitions had sought to postpone the elections due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

On January 5, the High Court had asked the Election Commission to consider banning large gatherings and to allow virtual rallies for the Assembly elections. It had also urged the poll panel to consider online voting as an alternative.

The notification on the election dates was issued three days later on January 8. Uttarakhand will go to polls February 14.

During Thursday’s hearing, the Election Commission told the High Court that it has stopped political parties from conducting rallies till Saturday. The poll panel also said that candidates have been given the option to file nomination papers online.

The High Court asked the state government about reports of the district monitoring committees with regard to poll preparedness. Chief standing advocate Chandra Shekhar Rawat, appearing for the state government, said nine out of 13 districts have…

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