The PIL, filed by social worker Farsu Goklani, sought postponement of the by-elections to the eight seats for which the Election Commission (EC) is yet to announce the date.
Goklani argued that around 19 lakh registered voters of these eight constituencies face the risk of contracting COVID-19 if elections are held as they will have to visit polling booths to exercise their franchise.
A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pariwala dismissed the PIL as premature.
The EC, in its reply to the PIL, had sought dismissal of the petition on grounds that "its decision cannot be preempted."
The poll panel had told the court it always takes into consideration the prevailing situation before announcement of elections.
The EC had said it is still assessing the situation, including the pandemic, and has so far not announced dates for by-elections in Gujarat as well as in other states.
"The Election Commission will take appropriate decision as whether to announce elections at an appropriate time or if required to defer holding of elections after following due procedure as prescribed in law," Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat, Ajay Bhatt, had said in his reply.
The broad guidelines issued recently by the EC to conduct elections during the pandemic was also challenged through a draft amendment to the same PIL.
The amended PIL had challenged the guidelines on the basis that they were in "complete contravention" of a July 29 circular issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs which strictly prohibits "social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/ cultural/religious functions and other large congregations".
Bypolls are to be held in Gujarat for eight seats that fell vacant in March and June following the resignation of sitting Congress MLAs.
These seats are Dhari, Abdasa, Limbdi, Gadhda, Dang, Karjan, Morbi and Kaprada.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.