The Madras High Court Monday castigated the Election Commission of India (ECI) for allowing political rallies during the pandemic and said it was singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid19.
“Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably”, CJ Banerjee said to the ECI.
“Were you on another planet when rallies were taking place”, he asked the ECI.
The court directed the Commission to place before it a proper plan for Covid19 management for the day when votes will be counted on May 2; else it, said, counting will be stopped.
“The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next”, the Chief Justice said.
“At no cost should the counting result in being a catalyst for a further surge, politics or no politics, and whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or is deferred. Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that Constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard”, the bench which also had Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.
It is only when the citizen survives that he enjoys the other rights that this democratic republic guarantees unto him. The situation is now one of survival and protection and, everything else comes thereafter.
The matter will now be heard on April 30.
Eariler, the Calcutta High Court berated the ECI for failing to enforce Covid19-appropriate behavior in political rallies.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.