Friday, May 24, 2024
North East

Supreme Court refuses petition for voting facilities to displaced residents in Manipur polls

New Delhi, April 15: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking voting facilities for around 18,000 people displaced internally due to the ethnic strife in Manipur for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The polling for the two Lok Sabha seats of Manipur will be held in two phases on April 19 and 26.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said interference of this court, particularly at this belated stage, would cause substantial impediments in the conduct of the ensuing general elections of the Lok Sabha for Manipur.
“You have come at the last minute. At this stage, what can be virtually done? We cannot interfere at this stage,” the bench said.
The top court was hearing a plea by Manipur resident Naulak Khamsuanthang and others seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to make arrangements to enable internally-displaced persons settled outside Manipur to enable them to cast their votes in the Lok Sabha elections by setting up special polling booths in the states where they are residing.
“There are 18,000 internally-displaced people. They want to vote in the elections in Manipur,” the lawyer appearing for the petitioners said.
Manipur has been caught in a spiral of violence since May 2023. More than 160 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence first broke out in the state on May 3 when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Though the number and intensity of incidents of violence are slowly ebbing away, many people are still living in relief camps far from their homes. (PTI)