On Saturday (May 1, 2021), the Election Commission (EC) filed a petition with the Supreme Court, challenging the Madras High Court's findings that the poll panel was responsible for a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region.
According to the Madras High Court, the liable EC officials should be tried for murder for failing to ensure obedience to COVID-19 protocols during the election process in four states and a Union Territory.
A bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud will hear the poll panel's appeal against the high court's failure to hear its petition opposing the critical remarks on May 3, 2021. "We have lodged an appeal against the orders of the high court."," the counsel for the EC, Amit Sharma, told the media.
The EC, in its appeal in the apex court, said the high court's remarks were "uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory".
On (April 26, 2021), the high court's division bench made the stinging observation in response to a petition filed by Tamil Nadu's Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar, who ran as the AIADMK candidate for Karur in the April 6 Assembly elections, seeking a direction to the authorities concerned to ensure a fair counting of votes on May 2 in his constituency by taking effective steps and making proper arrangements. It will be extremely difficult to fit their agents in the counting hall with 77 candidates in the race in Karur. The petitioner claimed that it may have an effect on procedure observance.
As the EC's counsel assured the judges that all possible measures were being taken, the bench retorted that the commission had opened the way for a revival of the deadly virus by encouraging political parties to hold rallies and organise meetings. When asked about the EC's counsel's assertion that all precautionary steps must be taken at the counting centres, the chief justice responded that the poll panel must be kept "singularly" accountable for the country's sudden increase in coronavirus cases.
The bench also suggested that EC officials might be charged with murder.