The Election Commission on Saturday moved the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court’s observation that the poll watchdog was singularly responsible for the rise in Covid-19 cases and it should probably be booked under murder charges.
The poll watchdog said the Madras HC’s comment was “uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory”.
Election Commission of India moves SC against “uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory remarks” by Madras HC that ECI “should be put on murder charges probably” for “not stopping political parties” from flouting COVID protocol in rallies. @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) May 1, 2021
Coming down heavily on the Election Commission for “not stopping political parties” from violating Covid protocols during their campaign rallies for Assembly polls in four states and an Union Territory over the last month, the Madras HC had said that murder charges should probably be imposed on the panel for being “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 Madras High Court had observed.
Remarking that the panel has been “the most irresponsible over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the Covid-19 protocol”, a bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said: “You should be put up on murder charges probably.”
On Friday, the Madras High Court had refused to entertain a petition by the Election Commission seeking to restrain media from publishing the court’s oral observations blaming the poll body for the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Rejecting requests by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, representing ECI, to direct media houses to confine their reports to written orders and to refrain from reporting oral observations of judges during the court proceedings, the court said the Commission can anyway approach the courts “if any frivolous complaints are made”.