Chennai: The Madras High Court wanted the Election Commission to be accounted for the spurt in the second COVID wave for its no-action stand against the crowded political campaigns in five poll-bounded states amid raging virus cases.
Considering a petition that sought compliance with COVID protocol during the vote counting day, the bench, including Chief Justice Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed that a murder case should probably be charged on the Election Commission for its negligence.
The court also threatened to stop the vote-counting by order if not submitted a blueprint in regards to the safety measures.
The court blatantly rebuked the Commission, citing officers disregard in dealing with the election campaigns and rallies in poll-bound states.
The election body had failed to enforce Covid safety rules like masks, sanitisers and distancing during campaigning despite court orders, said the High Court.
"Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held," Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee questioned.
The High Court also asked for a plan to enforce COVID rules on May 2 - the day of the results - by Friday. Without it, the counting could also be stopped, said the High Court.
The court added that public health is paramount and distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded.
The Election Commission announced a halt to the campaign only on Thursday, with only three more rounds of voting left in Bengal's record eight-phase election and all other states do with the vote.