Lok Sabha Elections: Supreme Court rejects plea seeking advancement of polling hours due to Ramzan, heat wave
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission to advance poll timings to 5:30 am from 7 am for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls in view of searing heat and the month of Ramzan. A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna rejected the plea, saying the notified timings of voting are from 7 am to 6 pm and voters can cast vote in the morning also. "The timings are for 7 am to 6 pm. People can come in the morning to cast their votes. They (EC) will face logistical problem (if timings are preponed)," the bench told advocate Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha who had filed the petition.
Earlier, the plea was filed in the Supreme Court to seek an early start to polling in the remaining three phases of the Lok Sabha election in view of Ramzan. In the last six phases, voting was held between 7 am and 5 pm.
After the polling dates were announced on March 10, there was a raging debate over the Lok Sabha poll dates coinciding with the Ramzan month. The Election Commission had then clarified that it had excluded the date of the main festival and Fridays from the polling schedule.
On May 5, the Election Commission had also rejected a plea to reschedule the commencement of polls during the last three phases of the Lok Sabha elections to 5 am instead of 7 am due to Ramzan.
Ramzan, the month of fasting in Islam, began from May 7. Last week, the Supreme Court had on Thursday directed the Election Commission to take a call on a plea seeking to advance the voting timing to 5 am for the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha election due to heat waves and Ramzan.
A functionary said besides being tiring for poll staff, such a move was not practical.