“Are You Living On Mars?” Court Rebukes Congress Leader Over Polls Plea

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The Delhi High Court Monday refused to entertain a petition by a Congress leader seeking postponement of assembly elections in five states on the grounds that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was spreading fast.

The high court, while terming the plea by Congress leader Jagdish Sharma as frivolous, asked whether the petitioner was living on Mars as cases of COVID-19 are declining.

Expressing displeasure, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, “It is a frivolous petition. Are you living on Mars. Delhi is now dealing with a declining number of cases. You withdraw it or we will dismiss it with cost.” The counsel for the petitioner then withdrew the plea.

Mr Sharma had sought directions to postpone the elections citing the third wave of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant is spreading fast.

He also sought directions to the central and state governments to submit a plan for distribution of essential supplies and services during the third wave of the pandemic.

He urged the court to direct the governments to submit the plan for availability and distribution of oxygen and to give directions to the Election Commission to postpone the polls for a few weeks or months in all the five states.

The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur are starting from February 10 and will end on March 7. The results will be announced on March 10.

“The court should also order a writ in the nature of mandamus, thereby directing the Delhi government to issue a direction for 14 days or less quarantine for people returning”, from these states where the election process has commenced, the plea said.

The petitioner cited the devastation caused during the second wave last year when a large number of people lost their lives due to shortage of beds and oxygen as the virus spread rapidly in the country.

He also pointed out inadequacies in the arrangements to prevent the spread of the virus and for treating the Covid patients.

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