SC rejects plea to reschedule TN poll date

SC rejects plea to reschedule TN poll date

DH File photo.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea for directions to the Election Commission to re-schedule the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 to be held on April 18 in Tamil Nadu on the ground that it may cause inconvenience to Christians for the date fell on 'Maundy Thursday'.

"We don't want to tell you how to pray and vote," a bench presided over by Justice S A Bobde told advocate Selvin Raja.

The court also wondered how much time does it take for one to vote.

The counsel mentioned the petition contending the date fell in week of Good Friday and Easter and may affect Christians' voting in the state.

The court said the petition may be heard two weeks after.

The counsel, on this, pointed out the issue may become infructuous by then.

The bench, also comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee, declined to allow the plea.

The petitioner said the General Elections to Lok Sabha, 2019 has been notified on March 19 by the Election Commission of India.

The date of poll for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry was scheduled on April 18, which fell on 'Maundy Thursday', within the ‘Holy Triduum’ which means the three days that begins with the liturgy on Maundy Thursday, followed by Good Friday and ends with a prayer on Holy Easter Sunday. 

Therefore, having the poll date on April 18 would cause inconvenience and displeasure to the entire Christian community as they cannot go to churches freely to perform mandatory religious practices and also, they would not able to freely discharge their fundamental duty by casting their vote in the election of world’s largest democracy. 

Petitioner Christuva Nallenna Iyakkam, through its managing trustee, challenged the Madras High Court order of March 22 which had dismissed the plea.