The Calcutta High Court on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction with EC’s implementation of Covid 19 health safety norms during the ongoing assembly elections in West Bengal, which includes, campaigning, public meetings, etc.
A division bench led by Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan addressed the three Public Interest Litigations which sought enforcement of Covid Protocols during the elections. The chief justice said that handing circulars and holding meetings on Covid safety were not sufficient and sought an affidavit on the matter by Friday stating the necessary actions taken by Election Commission to enforce the safety norms.
The PILs expressed concern that the numerous people who are participating in the ongoing election campaigns were not following the Covid 19 guidelines which may result in a spike in Covid 19 cases in West Bengal. The state is already under the second wave.
The court informed that the circulars of the ECI show that 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 the other forces under its command.
The bench heard the three PILs through video conference and posted the matter for hearing on Friday as the issue is urgent and rudimentary. The court directed that “Issuance of circulars and holding of meetings by themselves do not discharge the onerous responsibility of the ECI.”