Election Commission rejects plea seeking polling starting time to 5 am citing Ramzan and extreme hot conditions

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Election Commission of India (ECI) that sought the rescheduling of the commencement of the last three phases of Lok Sabha polls. The plea asked to start the polling early at 5 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. due to the Ramzan and increasing heat waves.

The fasting month of Islam Ramzan will begin from Tuesday, May 7.

The letter submitted by Election Commission to Pasha claimed that the plea for 11 hours of polling will be an inconvenience for the poll panel and the sections of society. “11 hours of Polling against the statutory 8 hours is long enough for all sections of the society. The commission does not find its feasible to extend the early hours for the remaining three phases of Lok Sabha elections.

The petition was filed by advocate Mohammed Nizamuddin pasha and Asad Hayat who mentioned the plea for an urgent hearing before a bench of justice including justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna and headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The plea sought responses citing the heat wave conditions in certain areas the country during the Ramzan that prompted the need to start the polling early in the morning.

The Supreme Court directed the office of Election Commission on Thursday to take a call on the plea seeking the preponement of voting time from 5 a.m. in the morning for the remaining three phases of Lok Sabha election.

For the first four phases of elections, voting took place from 7am to 6pm. However, due to the extreme heat conditions, it was noticed that the polling slows down in pace afternoon and remains even slow in the states where summer heat os intense. Ramzan will start this Monday and will collide with the three phases of elections and thus the plea has been filed seeking the election voting time to be preponed.

The voting for the first phase of elections took place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 11, April 18, April 23, and April 29. The results for the polling will be announced on May 23.

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