The Madras High Court on Thursday said the Election Commission of India, the state government, and political parties should ensure that counting day does not become a “super-spreader” event for the COVID19 pandemic.
A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamurthy examined the steps taken by the Election Commission to ensure fair treatment to COVID on May 2, the day of counting.
Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayan told the bench that the Health Secretary and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) have discussed the issue in light of previous observations made by the court and followed the COVID-19 protocol after the counting of votes. day. The AG said detailed instructions have been given for cleaning the EVMs, counting halls, thermal scanning, masks, negative COVID reports, and crowd control on the day.
The ECI counsel told the bench that it has banned victory rallies and marches on the day of counting.
Chief Justice Banerjee said, “The orders of the Election Commission are to be implemented on the ground, it makes no sense.”
The Chief Justice said that political parties should avoid mass meetings, ceremonies, and processions on the day of counting.
Earlier, the bench had directed the Election Commission of India to place a blueprint before the court on its plan to implement the COVID protocol on the day of counting. The bench had also warned that if the ECI fails to formulate such a plan, it will halt the counting process.
The directive came after the bench strongly criticized the Election Commission for stopping political rallies during COVID19.