Home / News / India /  EC 'most responsible' for Covid-19 surge, officials should be booked for murder: Madras HC
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The Madras High Court on Monday slammed the Election Commission of India (ECI) and called it the "the most irresponsible institution" for the alleged spread of the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

In stinging remarks, the court said that the EC is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19 by not stopping political parties from holding election rallies amid a deadly second wave of Covid-19.

The Madras HC also noted that the Election Commission officials should be booked under murder charges too, according to a PTI report.

"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.

"Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?", Chief Justice of Madras High Court questioned the ECI.

'Will stop counting if...'

The court went on to warn that it will stop counting if the ECI does not put in place a proper plan to ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines are followed.

"Public health is paramount. Distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded. It is only when a citizen survives that he'll be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees," the court added.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation on a public interest writ, seeking for a direction to authorities to ensure fair counting of votes on 2 May in Karur by taking effective steps and proper arrangements with Covid-19 protocols.

Since as many as 77 candidates are contesting in the Karur constituency, it would be very difficult to accommodate their agents in the counting hall. It may affect observance of the protocols, the petitioner alleged.

When the counsel for the EC told the judges that all necessary steps were underway, the bench retorted that by allowing the political parties to take out rallies and meetings, it had paved the way for the resurgence of the second wave of Covid-19.

"The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next", the Chief Justice added.

The Madras HC directed the ECI 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 30 April.

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