The Madras High Court on Monday (April 26) held the Election Commission of India singularly responsible for the spread of second wave of corona virus in India.
While hearing a petition, the Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee observed that the Election Commission authorities probably be booked for murder. The court also said that if proper arrangements could not be made for the counting it could even stop this process. The counting in four states and one Union Territory is scheduled on May 2.
Justice Banerjee asked as to why no COVID-19 protocols could be implemented and rallies allowed to go on even after the alarming rise in the number of cases of the pandemic.
Coming down heavily on the Commission the court asked as to whether the officials of the Election Commission of India were on a different planet when political parties were openly violating all the protocols while holding rallies and road-shows.
It needs to be mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cancelled his four rallies in West Bengal scheduled on April 23 just a day before. Even as late as April 22 Union home minister Amit Shah held a rally in West Bengal though he was supposed to address three on that day.
The strong observations of the Madras High Court came a day after the death of a sitting Supreme Court judge Mohan M Shantanagoudar.
Incidentally, Assembly elections were concluded in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry on April 6 itself. But the counting could not be done simply because of the eight-phase of election in West Bengal which will conclude on April 29.
A similar observation was made against the Election Commission by the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on April 22. It was on that evening that PM Modi cancelled his scheduled rallies on April 23.