UPDATED: April 26, 2021 16:06 IST
The Madras High Court on Monday slammed the Election Commission of India for allowing political rallies amid a deadly second wave of Covid-19.
The EC is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19 by not stopping political parties from holding election rallies, Madras HC Chief Justice Sanjib Bannerjee said on Monday as he reprimanded the poll body.
The Madras HC also observed that the Election Commission officials should be booked for murder.
“Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19. Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably,” the HC observed.
The Madras HC went on to warn that it will stop counting on May 2 if the Election Commission does not put in place a proper plan to ensure that the Covid-19 protocol is followed.
The court said public health is of paramount importance and that it was distressing to see that constitutional authorities have to be reminded of it.
“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 said.
“The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next”, the Chief Justice said.
“Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?” the Chief Justice of Madras High Court asked ECI when its counsel said measures were taken to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Madras High Court directed the Election Commission of India and 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 on April 30.