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Polling Time in Ramzan: SC asks EC to pass necessary orders

Ramzan, also called as Ramadan likely to begin on May 6, coincides with the fifth phase of the election

Thursday May 2, 2019 10:45 PM, IANS

Polling Time In Ramzan

[Scenes from a polling booth at Sion-Koliwada, Mumbai South-Central parliamentary constituency on 29 April 2019 during Loksabha Election 2019.]

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Election Commission to pass "necessary orders" on a petition seeking to change the voting schedule time from 7 a.m to 5 a.m. in the view of Ramzan and meteorological department forecast on heat wave for the remaining phases of the election.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: "The Election Commission is directed to pass necessary orders. The writ petition is disposed of in the above terms."

Advocates Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha and Asad Hayat filed the petition in the court. It contended that the court should issue a direction to the poll body to extend the polling hours during the fifth, sixth and seventh phases of the ongoing general election on May 6, May 12 and May 19, respectively, by 2-2.5 hours so as to commence at 4:30/5 a.m.(instead of the notified time of 7 a.m.)".

The heat wave is likely to increase the temperature by up to five degree Celsius than normal.

The petitioners claimed to have submitted their petition to the poll body earlier this week, but they are yet to receive a response.

Ramzan, also called as Ramadan likely to begin on May 6, coincides with the fifth phase of the election. Muslims will find it difficult to go and vote in these harsh weather conditions.

"In the intense heat, it will be very difficult for Muslim voters to queue up at the polling booths during the day in the intense heat to exercise their franchise," said the plea.

The petitioner also contended that under these weather conditions, people who are fasting are likely to suffer dehydration and heatstroke.

The petition cited that Indian Meteorological Department has issued warnings indicating severe heat wave conditions in poll-bound areas of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

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