Hindustan Times (East UP)

Calcutta HC expresses dissatisfa­ction with EC

- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday expressed dissatisfa­ction with the Election Commission of India over enforcemen­t of Covid-19 health safety norms during the ongoing West Bengal assembly election process, including campaignin­g.

Hearing three public interest litigation­s (PILs) seeking enforcemen­t of Covid protocol during the elections, a division bench presided by Chief Justice T B N Radhakrish­nan said issuance of circulars and holding meetings on Covid safety were not enough and sought an affidavit by Friday on steps taken to enforce the norms.

The PILs expressed concern that people participat­ing in the ongoing election campaigns were not adhering to Covid norms and expressed apprehensi­on that this may result in a serious spike in Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, which is currently facing up to a second wave of the pandemic.

“We are not satisfied with the materials on record to state that the Election Commission of India and its officers on ground in West Bengal have enforced their circulars,” it said.

The court said that the circulars of the ECI show the route map and the protocol for the political parties, their workers, the people at large and responsibl­e management by the officers including the police and other forces under its command.

“Issuance of circulars and holding of meetings by themselves do not discharge the onerous responsibi­lity of the ECI,” the court observed.

The bench, also comprising Justice Arijit Banerjee, also said it is sure that circulars are not mere advisories.

THE BENCH, ALSO COMPRISING JUSTICE ARIJIT BANERJEE, ALSO SAID IT IS SURE THAT CIRCULARS ARE NOT MERE ADVISORIES.

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