An Indian high court has laid the blame on the country’s election commission for the devastating second wave of COVID-19 as it failed to stop massive political rallies in the country, where coronavirus protocols were violated, reported Hindustan Times.
The Madras High Court, which issued the remarks, suggested that officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) should be tried on murder charges over their poor decision making.
The remarks were issued by the court’s first bench of chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy hearing a petition filed by transport minister of Indian state of Tamil Nadu MR Vijayabhaskar.
It warned that the ECI may also prevent votes from counting on May 2 unless the agency shares a blueprint for the COVID-19 agreement at the counting center on April 30.
“At no cost can counting result as a catalyst for a further surge, politics or no politics, whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or is deferred,” the court was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
“You are the only institution that is singularly responsible for the situation today,” the chief justice of the Madras High Court said during the hearing as per the Hindustan Times.
“No action against political parties taking rallies despite court orders. Your election commission officials should be put up on murder charges probably.”
As per the publication the ECI is being criticised by the Indians over its decision to allow political parties with no regard for any COVID-19 protocols. It added that the body at multiple times has issued a statement urging leaders to follow COVID-19 protocols but has failed to act against any leader or party for flouting the protocols.
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal, welcomed the opinion of the Madras High Court, “it clearly stated that ECI cannot escape its responsibility”.
“Both Prime Minister Modi and EC are responsible for the (current) situation (of COVID spreading in the state),” Banerjee was quoted by the publication.
India recently held polls for the local assembly in states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, West Bengal and Puducherry. The publication noted that elections have ended in all states apart from West Bengal.
As part of a global campaign, the first emergency medical supplies poured into India on Tuesday, which was hit by COVID. The campaign was part of a catastrophic wave in the latest pandemic hot spot. The United States also pledged to export millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Compared to some wealthier Western countries that have begun to relax restrictions, the infection rate and death rate in India have risen exponentially, overwhelming hospitals.
The virus has now killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide, of which India has contributed to a rise in the total number of cases worldwide, with 350,000 new infections on Tuesday.
Crates of fume hoods and oxygen generators from the United Kingdom were unloaded early Tuesday morning at Delhi airport, the country’s first emergency medical supply.
Elsewhere in the capital AFP images showed smoke billowing from dozens of pyres lit inside a parking lot that has been turned into a makeshift crematorium.
“People are just dying, dying and dying,” said Jitender Singh Shanty, who is coordinating the cremation of around 100 bodies a day at the site in the east of the city.
“If we get more bodies, we will cremate them on the road. There is no more space here.”