Supreme Court stays MP High Court order for directing virtual campaigning in elections.

    The Madhya Pradesh High Court order calling for political parties to conduct the virtual campaigning for the upcoming elections. This order was challenged by the Election Commission of India and moved to the Supreme Court.

    Election Commission of India stated that this order interferes with the poll process. This order is also assailed by the BJP leader Pradyumn Singh Tomer.

    ECI submitted that the  guidelines to conduct a poll during Covid-19 are also given. They moved an application for urgent hearing of the case.

    The High Court said that order highlights that various political parties were organizing physical campaigning which can spread Covid -19 and the state authority are taking no action. They also directed the DM to not allow anyone to conduct the physical campaigning unless it is proved that the virtual campaigning is not possible.

    On 8 October, the center permitted the political gathering beyond the existing limit of 100 persons where the elections are held and detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) shall be issued by respective govt. High Court also orders DM of Datia and Gwalior to ensure FIR against former Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Union Minister Narendra Nath Tomar for violation of Covid-19 guidelines.

    On 26 October, in the case of Election Commission of India v. Ashish Pratap Singh & Ors, the Supreme Court stays the Madhya Pradesh High Court order. The bench consists of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khana. The bench directed the ECI to consider all issues before the High Court and take action in accordance with law.

    Senior Advocate Rakesh Durivedi and Advocate Amit Sharma appear for ECI. Whereas Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appear for Mr. Tomer.

    Subsequently, the state government allowed public gathering with subject to restrictions.