The Supreme Court today rejected a plea seeking to reschedule the poll timings for the seventh phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The plea filed by Advocate Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha had appealed for preponement of the poll timings by one and a half hours to 5:30 am instead of the usual 7 am during the final phase of the elections to be held on May 19 due to the summer heat and ongoing Ramzan.
The vacation Bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna refused to direct the Election Commission (EC) to alter the poll timings during Ramzan.
Observing that voting time starts between 7 am to 6 pm, the court said, people can cast their votes in the morning as well and refused to change the timing citing logistical problems.
“The timings are from 7 am to 6 pm. People can come in the morning to cast their votes. They (EC) will face the logistical problem (if timings are advanced)”, the vacation Bench noted.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had asked the EC to check if the poll timings could be advanced to 5 am. It had also directed the EC to pass necessary order in response to a petition saying that convenient and fair opportunity to cast their vote should be ensured to everyone, especially, the Muslim community. The petition observed that it would be inconvenient for ‘fasting’ Muslims during the month of Ramzan to cast their vote in severe heat.
However, the EC had rejected the plea refusing to alter the timings of the polls. “Commission does not find it feasible to alter the existing hours of polls for the 5th, 6th & 7th phase of general elections to the Lok Sabha, 2019,” the poll panel had said.