EC Should Be Booked for Murder: Madras HC Chides Poll Body

“Were you on another planet when political rallies were being held?” Madras HC asked EC’s counsel.

3 min read
File photo of Madras High Court.

The Madras High Court on Monday, 26 April, strongly pulled up the Election Commission of India for allowing political rallies even as the country is battling a deadly second wave of COVID-19.

Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee reprimanded the Election Commission (EC) for failing to ensure COVID-19 norms were being followed during rallies, remarking that the EC is “singularly responsible” for the second wave of COVID-19.

"Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably,” Justice Sanjib Banerjee remarked, as per LiveLaw.

EC Should Be Booked for Murder: Madras HC Chides Poll Body

When the EC’s counsel said that measures have been taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, Madras High Court Chief Justice remarked: "Were you on another planet when political rallies were being held?"

"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,” Chief Justice Banerjee told the EC.

EC Should Be Booked for Murder: Madras HC Chides Poll Body

Tamil Nadu is one of the states that went to polls on 6 April this year. The High Court also warned that it will stop counting on 2 May, which is when the results are to be declared for elections in four states and one Union Territory, if the EC does not put in place a proper plan to ensure COVID-19 norms are followed.

“The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next,” the Chief Justice said.
EC Should Be Booked for Murder: Madras HC Chides Poll Body

The High Court has directed the EC to hold a consultation with the State Health Secretary and place on record a plan to enforce COVID-19 protocol on counting day by 30 April.

COVID Surge in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu's single-day coronavirus cases tally crossed the 15,000 mark on Sunday, pushing the total case count to 10.81 lakh till date. As many as 82 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 13,557 so far, the health department said.

The state registered 15,659 fresh cases while recoveries mounted to 9,63,251 on Monday, with 11,065 patients being discharged, a bulletin said. Chennai continued to constitute the bulk of the total cases accounting for 4,206 new infections, totalling 3,09,899 till date.

The metropolis also leads in the number of fatalities with 4,467 people succumbing to the virus.

Tamil Nadu on Sunday observed complete lockdown, the first during the current wave of the COVID pandemic, with the operation of only essential services and roads were deserted as people remained indoors.

(With PTI inputs.)

(This story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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