Hindustan Times (East UP)
Calcutta HC expresses dissatisfaction with EC
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.