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Plea in SC seeking guidelines for COVID-19 norms adherence in Kumbh, assembly polls

ANI | Updated: Apr 18, 2021 02:42 IST

New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): A petition has been filed on Saturday before the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union of India (UOI) and other authorities to initiate necessary guidelines and effective steps ensuring adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in the ongoing assembly elections and the Kumbh Mela.
The petition was filed by lawyer Vishal Tiwari.
Tiwari, in his petition, sought a direction by the SC to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to issue guidelines to the political parties to do campaigning through virtual rallies and video conferences.
The petitioner also sought that necessary directions be issued to the government authorities and its instrumentalities to restrict the gathering of lakhs of people in Haridwar's Kumbh in light of the second wave of COVID-19.

A common man is fined Rs 2,000 if found without a mask despite the financial crises and a lot of hardships that people are facing. But when the question of high dignitaries comes, then it appears that there are no COVID-19 protocols for them," read the petition.
It added, "Many political leaders, Ministers who are engaged in election campaignings welcome the mob and invite them on 'Come as much as you Can' principle. This two-fold strategy of the government cannot be permitted."
The petition added that last year the Tabliqui Jamaat was condemned because of its gathering for religious purposes during COVID-19 and was much maligned later but this year the same condition is arising at Kumbh Mela at Haridwar.
"Wearing of mask and social distancing is being disregarded, the authorities which conduct the Mela, Prayagraj Mela Authority, hasn't taken any action pertaining to this and hasn't initiated any direction or guidelines to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines and has been a mere spectator to the situation that is getting worse by the day," Vishal wrote in this petition.
The plea further added that a serious health emergency situation has been formed by neglecting the COVID-19 norms and the fundamental right to life, under section 21 of the Constitution, has been put at stake and such a situation demands the intervention of the apex court. (ANI)