SC stays Madhya Pradesh HC order on political gatherings

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TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 11:41 IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Madhya Pradesh high court order which put various conditions in holding physical gatherings by political parties for campaigning in assembly by-polls in the state.
The Election Commission (EC) had moved the SC challenging the order, saying conducting elections was in the sole jurisdiction of the poll agency and that the high court had no power to interfere.
The SC, however, asked the EC to take appropriate steps in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
The poll panel, which is empowered under the Constitution to take decisions to hold elections, has issued the guidelines to allow limited political assemblies during the campaigning.
The Gwalior bench of the high court had put stringent restrictions on physical campaigning by candidates for the assembly bye-elections in Madhya Pradesh in view of the pandemic situation.
The high court had said the political parties will have to get permission from the District Collector to hold physical gatherings and a certificate from the poll panel that virtual campaigning was not possible.
The by-elections to 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh will decide the fate of the seven-month-old Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

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