ECI responsible for COVID-19 surge, says Madras HC

The Madras High Court on Monday observed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) should be put up on murder charges probably for being the most irresponsible institution over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the Covid-19 protocol.
“You (ECI) are the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today. You have been singularly lacking any kind of exercise of authority. You have not taken measures against political parties holding rallies despite every order of this Court saying ‘maintain Covid protocol, maintain Covid protocol’,” the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.
“Now we assure you we will stop counting if we do not find before May 2 a blueprint on how proper maintenance of Covid protocol will be maintained so that this State does not succumb to your idiosyncrasies any further,” the Court added.
“At no cost, the counting of votes on May 2 result in being a catalyst to a further surge, politics or no politics and whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or deferred. Public health is of paramount importance and it is  distressing that Constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard…” the Court added.
The bench made the observations while hearing a plea moved by Tamil Nadu Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar seeking direction to the ECI to follow a slew of measures aimed at ensuring fairness in the counting of votes on May 2 in Karur Constituency since 77 candidates had contested in the Constituency.