As COVID-19 cases rise, SC bats for delay in UP panchayat poll counting; allows after EC's assurance
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The Supreme Court of India on Saturday batted for a delay in the counting of votes for the Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections, slated for tomorrow. As India set new records with a whopping 4 lakh COVID-19 cases, the apex court sought a delay of two or three weeks, during which "medical facilities can be improved".

"Heavens will not fall if counting is deferred by three weeks," a report by NDTV quoted the SC as contending. The Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar was hearing an appeal that challenged the Allahabad High Court’s recent decision to allow the same amid the rising caseload.

"What if a situation comes up where you will tell us that at that moment, things were not under control? What happens at the counting centres? Tensions build up in such centres," the bench reportedly contended.

The UP Election Commission however assured that it would take every precaution and had taken the decision to go ahead. While the bench had expressed concerns, it ultimately declined to interfere with the Allahabad HC order, citing the assurances given by the state government. It also added a few caveats, such as the observation of strict curfew in relevant areas ahead of counting and a complete ban of victory rallies across the state.

Further details awaited.

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