- Madras High Court slams Election Commission of India
- Madras HC calls ECI the “most irresponsible institution”
- “Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?”, Chief Justice of Madras HC asks ECI
On Monday, the Madras High Court slammed the Election Commission of India (ECI) and called it “the most irresponsible institution” for the alleged spread of the second wave of COVID-19 in India.
In the stringent remarks, the Madras HC said that the Election Commission is the only one responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 by not stopping the political parties from holding election rallies amid a deadly second wave of the novel Coronavirus.
The Madras court also noted that the EC officials should be booked under murder charges as well, as per the report from the Indian news agency PTI.
The Madras High Court observed, “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19. Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably”.
Questioning the ECI, Madar High Court’s Chief Justice asked, “Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?”.
The court went on to warn that it will stop counting if the ElectioN commission of India does not put in place a proper plan to ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines are followed.
The court added, “Public health is paramount. Distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded. It is only when a citizen survives that he’ll be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees”.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed on a public interest writ, seeking direction to the authorities ensuring a fair counting of votes on the 2nd of May in Karur by taking effective steps and proper arrangements following the COVID-19 protocols.
With as many as 77 candidates contesting in the Karur constituency, it would be considerably difficult to accommodate their agents in the counting hall. It may affect observance of the protocols, the petitioner alleged.
When the counsel for the EC told the judges that all necessary steps were underway, the bench retorted that as you allowed the political parties to take out rallies and meetings, it had paved the way for the resurgence of the second wave of COVID-19.
The Chief Justice added, “The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next”.
The Madras High Court directed the Election Commission of India along with the Tamil Nadu Chief Election Officer to consult with the Health Secretary and draft a COVID-19 protocol for the counting day and submit the same by the 30th of April.