During the hearing of the suo moto case where the High Court of Madras takes stock of the Covid situation in the State, the Electoral Commission, upset by the comments of the bench “sensationalized” by the media, pleaded for instructions. EC’s lawyer argued that he was charged with the difficult task of conducting an election and that the media should be instructed not to sensationalize. This concerned the bench comment that EC officers should likely be convicted of murder for authorizing election rallies amid the deadly pandemic and for failing to ensure Covid-19 protocol. This statement made the headlines of several media and it shocked the EC a lot.
However, the court was not in the mood to deal with this issue given other issues that required the court’s attention. “The autopsy on either count may have to wait, especially in light of the immediate measures that can be put in place,” the court said, referring to the appeal by EC and the Centre’s readiness claim.
The court added that he did not consider himself an expert and that his aim was to ensure that the authorities devote their full attention to the measures put in place. The court reiterated that its immediate concern was what will happen on May 2, the day of the recount. The court said it hopes political parties, media personnel and citizens in general will adhere to the instructions and guidelines, follow the standards and cooperate with the authorities in the best public interest.
Speaking to political parties, the court said: “The role of political parties cannot be overstated. Leaders of political parties should ensure that the grassroots maintain a certain degree of discipline and exercise extreme restraint, whether celebrating or not. Leaders of political parties should keep supporters in check, ensure that there is no cracker burst or rally withdrawals, especially on count day and until the current grim situation. continues. Leaders of political parties are urged to take a proactive stance in this regard and lead by example. “
In the meantime, the court said it hopes that when it comes to the supply of vaccines and drugs, the Center will be able to give a clear picture of the allocation of drugs and vaccines to the state. . The bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said it would allow the state to plan its action.
The Center informed the court that the increase in numbers was unexpected and that preparatory steps had been taken for some time. Deputy Solicitor General R Shankaranarayan argued that the curve was flattening in December and that in February there had been an increase in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala, but the Center had taken all necessary measures.
The court also urged the government to upload critical information relating to bed availability, oxygen and other aspects so people don’t panic.
The bench said he would be available during the first half of the summer vacation and could meet on notice to the parties. The court will hear the case again on May 5.