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On Monday 26 April, The Madras High Court said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is singularly responsible for spreading Covid-19 and murder charges should probably be imposed on it for its “irresponsible” behaviour.

Criticising the ECI for not stopping political parties from violating the Covid protocols, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said, “You (ECI) are the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today.”

“You have been singularly lacking any kind of exercise of authority. You have not taken measures against political parties holding rallies despite every order of this court saying ‘maintain Covid protocol, maintain Covid protocol’,” the court said, asking whether the poll watchdog “was on another planet when poll rallies were held”.

Chief Justice Banerjee and Justice Ramamoorthy were hearing a petition filed by the state transport minister M R Vijayabhaskar seeking directions to the ECI to follow certain measures during the counting of votes on May 2 at his Karur constituency, where a total of 77 candidates had contested.