The Madras High Court on Monday held the Election Commission of India (ECI) responsible for the surge in Covid19 cases across the country.

The High Court said murder charges should be brought against the Election Commission for not stopping political parties from abuse of the Covid19 protocol.

Coming down heavily on the Election Commission of India for allowing political rallies amid Covid19 pandemic, the High Court told ECI: “You (ECI) are 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 HC bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.

Thousands of people gathered during the election rallies organized in the states and Union territory where the State Assembly elections are being held.

The counting of votes for the Assembly elections for Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Puducherry and Kerala will be held on May 2, 2021.

Tamil Nadu recorded 15,659 Coviud19 cases on Sunday, taking the state’s tally to 10,81,988.

The state recorded 82 Covid19 deaths on Sunday, taking the state’s overall toll to 13,557.

Fearing that Covid19 cases may increase if Covid19 protocols are not properly maintained on the day of the counting of results, on May 2, High Court told the Election Commission: “Now we assure you we will stop counting if we do not find before May 2 a blueprint on how proper maintenance of Covid protocol will be maintained so that this state does not succumb to your idiosyncrasies any further.”

The court further said: “At no cost, the counting of votes on May 2 result in being a catalyst to a further surge, politics or no politics and whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or deferred.”

“Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard…” the High Court observed.

The Madras High Court’s observations comes while hearing a plea moved by Tamil Nadu transport minister MR Vijayabhaskar seeking a directive to the Election Commission to follow some measures to ensure fairness in the counting of votes on May 2 in Karur constituency.

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