Don’t want to demoralise HCs, they are key pillars of democracy: SC on EC plea | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Election Commission to take the Madras high court’s stern remarks against it in the “right spirit” and said it cannot ask high courts to exercise restraint during such a sensitive situation.
The top court was hearing the poll panel’s plea against the high court’s strong observation that it “should be put up on murder charges” for failure to maintain Covid protocols during election campaigns.
The Election Commission told the apex court that it is deeply hurt by the Madras HC’s “castigating remarks” on a constitutional body.
A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said it does not want to “demoralise” high courts as they are vital pillars of democracy.
It observed that critical remarks like those made by the Madras HC are often made in an open dialogue between the bar and bench.
The bench noted that the SC would not have used such harsh language itself but added that such remarks are needed to be taken like “bitter pills”, especially in the wake of certain lapses during electioneering amid the pandemic.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who was representing the poll panel, contested that it does not have the staff to contain people who take part in election rallies, adding that Covid management is not its prerogative.
The top court also said seeking relief that media should not report on observations is “too far fetched” and it should be able to report on everything to create accountability.
“Media is a powerful watchdog in democracy and cannot be stopped from reporting discussions in higher courts,” it said.
The top court asked Dwivedi to tell the Election Commission that Madras HC’s effort was not to run down an institution. It reserved its order on the plea.

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