New Delhi: Days after the Madra High Court castigated the Election Commission over the second wave of coronavirus in India, the poll panel urged the Court to restrict the media from reporting on oral observations. In its petition, the EC asserted it was disappointed with the media reports of the Madras High Court’s oral observations that it is ‘the most irresponsible institution and singularly’ responsible for the spread’. “These reports have tarnished the image of the Election Commission of India as an independent constitutional agency that is entrusted with the constitutional responsibility of conducting elections,” the poll panel’s petition read.Also Read - 'Recovery Is Underway In Spite Of Headwinds', RBI Says In Annual Report 2021-22
It also said that a police complaint had been filed against the Deputy Election Commissioner accusing him of murder in West Bengal following the media reports. The EC also insisted that there was “nothing to suggest” that campaigning led to the spike in coronavirus cases in states. Also Read - Delhi Witnesses Marginal Dip in Covid Numbers, Registers 403 Fresh Cases; Positivity Rate Stands At 1.76%
Earlier on Monday, lashing out against the Election Commission, the Madras High Court had warned of stopping the counting process on May 2 unless proper plans were drawn up for the process. Also Read - Coronavirus Not Gone Yet, Maharashtra CM Urges All Not to Lower Guard. Here's What He Said
A bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, while hearing a plea moved by Tamil Nadu Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskhar, said, “You (EC) are the only institution responsible for the situation of Covid and should probably be put on murder charges for not preventing political parties from the misuse of Covid 19 protocol. You have been singularly lacking any kind of exercise of authority. You have not taken measures against political parties holding rallies despite the court saying ‘Maintain Covid protocols, maintain Covid protocols’.”
The minister had petitioned the court seeking direction to the Election Commission to follow a slew of measures in ensuring fairness during the counting of votes on May 2 for Karur constituency where he had contested the elections as an AIADMK candidate. There were 77 candidates in fray at Karur constituency.
“We assure you that we will stop counting if we do not find before May 2 a blueprint on how proper maintenance of Covid protocol is assured so that this state does not succumb to the idiosyncrasies any further,” the bench had said.
The Chief Justice also observed that public health is of paramount importance and that it was distressing to remind constitutional authorities on the counting and possibilities of a further surge after May 2.