Supreme Court go-ahead to counting votes in Uttar Pradesh rural polls

The Supreme Court on Saturday allowed counting of votes for the Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections to go ahead as scheduled.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy declined to interfere with petition challenging Allahabad HC order allowing the elections and said, “while recording the assurance given by the State Government…as well as the State Election Commission that necessary measures have been put in place in terms of the guidelines issued from time to time, including the recent Notifications dated 29.04.2021 and 30.04.2021” issued by the State Election Commission (SEC).

The court said, “The operating protocol mentioned therein is being and will be adhered to by all stakeholders as well as duty holders without any exception”.

The court said it has been assured that “additionally, strict curfew would be imposed in areas, as may be notified by the authorities, in particular in and around the counting centres, and will be continued until the counting process of the counting centre (concerned) is completed in all respects, including declaration of results.

That will ensure only candidates and their authorised representatives would be able to visit/enter the counting centres and gathering of general public is avoided.

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