[WSMDiscuss] ‘Election Commission Should Be Charged With Murder for Allowing Rallies’ : Madras High Court
jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Apr 26 16:06:27 CEST 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
India in movement…, Viruses in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Justice in movement...
[To repeat, in India and at this emerging juncture in history, a million mutinies are rising…
EC’s [the Election Commission’s] standing counsel, advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan, told the court that measured had been put in place to ensure COVID-19 protocol during vote counting. “Were you on another planet when political rallies were being held?”, the chief justice asked, when Rajagopalan said that.
‘Election Commission Should Be Charged With Murder for Allowing Rallies’ : Madras High Court
If the EC does not provide a suitable blueprint on how COVID-19 safety norms will be followed on counting day, the bench observed, the court will not allow the counting of votes to continue on May 2
The Wire Staff
New Delhi: The Madras high court on Monday came down heavily on the Election Commission (EC), saying it was the “only institution” responsible for the deadly COVID-19 second wave India is seeing today. Four states and one union territory are conducting assembly elections at the moment, and the EC allowed election rallies to be held as normal even though it was visible that COVID-19 protocol was not being followed.
A bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing a petition on whether there were adequate COVID-19 safety procedures in place during vote counting at the Karur constituency, Bar and Bench reported <https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/election-commission-murder-charges-madras-high-court-covid-norms-political-rallies>.
“You [the EC] are the only institution that is responsible for the situation today. No action against political parties taking rallies despite every order of the Court. Your election commission should be put up on murder charges probably!” Chief Justice Banerjee said on Monday.
In its order too, the bench reiterated how the EC had been asked multiple times to ensure that the pandemic does not worsen because of elections, but these calls went unheeded:
“Despite repeated orders of this court going on like a broken record at the foot of at least every election petition entertained that COVID protocol ought to be maintaining during the campaign time the significance of adhering to such protocol may have been lost on the Election Commission going by the puerile silence on the part of the Commission as campaigns and rallies were conducted without distancing norms being maintained and in wanton disregard of the other items of the protocol.”
EC’s standing counsel, advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan, told the court that measured had been put in place to ensure COVID-19 protocol during vote counting. “Were you on another planet when political rallies were being held?” the chief justice asked when Rajagopalan said that.
Also read: Is Amit Shah Right to Say Elections Can’t be Blamed for COVID Spike? <https://science.thewire.in/health/fact-check-is-amit-shah-right-to-say-elections-cant-be-blamed-for-covid-spike/>
If the EC does not provide a suitable blueprint on how COVID-19 safety norms will be followed on counting day, the bench observed according to LiveLaw <https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/madras-high-court-pulls-up-election-commission-for-allowing-political-rallies-during-amid-covid-173135>, the court will not allow the counting of votes to continue on May 2.
“At no cost can the counting result in a catalyst for a further surge, politics or no politics, and whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or is deferred. Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when the citizen survives that he enjoys the other rights that this democratic republic guarantees unto him. The situation is now one of survival and protection and everything else comes second to it,” the order stated
The measures must not be limited to Karur, the court insisted.
“Similar appropriate measures have to be adopted at every counting center and it is upon … regular sanitisation, proper hygienic conditions, the mandatory wearing of masks and adherence to distancing norms should any counting begin or be continued. The State Health Secretary and Director of Public Health should be consulted by Election Commission and the officer responsible in the State to put appropriate measures in place immediately.”
The case is next listed for hearing on April 30, and the EC’s blueprint must be placed on the record before that, the court said.
Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> & <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)
Check out something new – including for copies of the first two books below, at a discount, and much more : The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?. New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press. Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
SUBSCRIBE TO World Social Movement Discuss, an open, unmoderated, and self-organising forum on social and political movement at any level (local, national, regional, and global). To subscribe, simply send an empty email to wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net <mailto:wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the WSM-Discuss