Court asks ECI and parties to adhere to Covid norms during counting

Observing that the immediate concern was that the counting day on May 2 does not end up being a superspreader event, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said, “It is hoped that political parties, media personnel and citizens at large adhere to the instruction and guidelines, and follow the norms and cooperate with authorities in greater public interest.

“The role of political parties cannot be overemphasised. Leaders of political parties should ensure that the rank and file maintain a degree of discipline and exercise extreme restrain whether in celebration or otherwise,” Chief Justice Banerjee said while directing the leaders of political parties to ensure that there was no bursting of crackers or taking out rallies, particularly on the day of the counting and till such time the present grim situation continued.

Asking political leaders to take a proactive stand in such regard and lead by example, the bench also expressed apprehension over media personnel adhering to the COVID protocol outside counting centres and sought the Election Commission to have a Plan-B in place if the prescribed COVID-19 protocols were not adhered to.