The Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on the Election Commission of India for allowing political rallies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Livelaw.in, Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee told the Election Commission’s counsel: “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19”.
The Chief Justice went to the extent of orally saying “Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably”.
The Chief Justice observed that the Commission had failed to enforce COVID norms regarding wearing of facemasks, use of sanitizers and maintaining social distancing during election campaigning, despite court orders, the report by Livelaw added.
“Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?”, Chief Justice asked the ECI counsel, according to the report.
The Court warned that it will stop the counting scheduled on May 2 if the ECI does not put in place a blueprint of a plan to ensure following of COVID19 protocol on the counting day.
“Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when a citizen survives that he’ll be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees”, the Chief Justice added.
“The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next”, the Chief Justice said.