New Delhi, August 28: The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking postponement of the Bihar Assembly elections due to the coronavirus pandemic. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah left it to the Election Commission decide the schedule.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by one Avinash Thakur, who sought direction to the Chief Election Commissioner to postpone the election till the state was free of Covid-19, The Indian Express reported.

The petitioner had argued that the Representation of People Act allowed deferment in extraordinary situations. The SC, however, said this was not the ground for postponement.

The SC also said the petition was premature, as the EC was yet to announce the schedule for the elections. The poll body, however, has announced a slew of guidelines for holding elections during the pandemic.

According to the new guidelines only two people can accompany a candidate at the time of filing nomination papers. If a voter, on the day of voting, shows symptoms of virus, the person will be provided a token and will be asked to come back at the last hour of polling.

Voters will be provided hand gloves at the time of signing the register and pressing the EVM button.

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