Elections 2024: Madras High Court dismisses PIL seeking quashing of notification related to date of polling

The Madras High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking quashing of the impugned portion of the notification relating to date of polling and date of counting with regard to Tamil Nadu General Elections to Lok Sabha 2024 .

The contention of the petitioner is that there is a long gap between the date of polling and the date of counting. The same is arbitrary, illegal and against the principles of natural justice. 

A.Rajini, counsel for the petitioner submits that directions may be given to change the date mentioned in the impugned notification and advance the date of counting with regard to the State of Tamil Nadu.

The Division Bench of  Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy did not find that the petition espouses any public cause. It is merely in the nature of a publicity interest litigation. “The date of polling and the date of counting has to be determined by the Election Commission of India.”

The Court asked the counsel for the petitioner the provision which mandates counting to take place within a particular time frame from the date of polling. The counsel for the petitioner candidly accepts that there is no such provision.

“Nation wide elections are to be held. The Election Commission of India in its wisdom has fixed the dates. Phase-wise elections have been fixed and upon culmination of the last phase of the election, the date of counting is fixed. Heavy responsibility is cast on Election Commission to conduct free and fair election. The Election Commission has to consider various factors such as security, deployment of staff,   training of staff and many more aspects. The petitioner is not prejudiced. It will not be for the court, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to interfere with the election programme”, the order reads.

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