The Madras High Court has blamed the Election Commission for the second wave of Covid-19, LiveLaw reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee told EC's counsel that "your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19" and went to the extent of orally saying "your officers should be booked on murder charges probably", LiveLaw reported.
The HC observed that EC failed to enforce Covid norms during election campaigning despite court orders. "Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?" the Chief Justice asked.
The Court warned that it will stop the counting scheduled on May 2 if the commission does not put in place a blueprint of a plan to ensure following of Covid protocol on the counting day.
"Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when a citizen survives that he will be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees," the bench also also comprising Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.
"The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes next", the Chief Justice remarked.
The court also directed the ECI and Tamil Nadu's CEC to hold consultations with the Health Secretary and submit a plan for the counting day. The court will hear the matter again on April 30.
Polling in Tamil Nadu was held in a single phase on April 6. Results will be declared on May 2.
Tamil Nadu on Sunday observed a compelete lockdown, the first during the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The state had previously witnessed a Sunday lockdown in the last week of August 2020, after which restrictions were eased.
Tamil Nadu's active COvid-19 cases has crossed the one lakh mark.