The Madras High Court on Monday lambasted the Election Commission saying that it is responsible for the second wave of COVID and should be probably booked for murder.
The strong remarks against the poll panel came for its abject failure to ensure COVID-appropriate guidelines in election rallies in Tamil Nadu and four other states where Assembly polls were held amid a raging pandemic. The election in West Bengal is still going on.
The high court was hearing a petition by Tamil Nadu transport minister MR Vijayabaskar seeking COVID compliance in counting halls in Karur constituency, from where he contested.
HC threatens to stay counting on May 2
The high court also warned the poll panel that it will stay the counting of votes on May 2 if a blueprint to enforce COVID guidelines is not in place.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee told EC, “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably.” The election body had failed to enforce COVID safety rules like masks, sanitisers and distancing during campaigning despite court orders, the bench added.
Citizens will be vote only if they survive, says HC
“Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held,” Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee questioned.
“Public health is paramount. Distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded. It is only when a citizen survives that he will be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees,” the court said.
COVID cases have exploded alongside elections held in Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry. India on Monday reported 3.52 lakh cases and 2,812 deaths in 24 hours, another grim record.
EC’s knee-jerk reaction
The poll panel stopped roadshows and rallies and limited public meetings to 500 people last Thursday, with just three more rounds of voting left in Bengal’s record eight-phase election and all other states done with the vote.
The EC has been facing a lot of criticism on social media as well.
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