The Supreme Court has termed Madras High Court’s observations against the Election Commission as harsh and inappropriate. The Court said, there is a need for judges of superior courts to exercise restraint and not make off the cuff remarks in court proceedings. However, the Apex Court said, the High Court did not attribute culpability to the Commission for the spread of COVID-19.
A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, they found that the High Court was faced with a situation of rising cases of COVID and was duty-bound to protect its citizens. However, it said, the method of the court was harsh and inappropriate. The Supreme Court said, a degree of caution and restraint on part of the High Court would have allayed these proceedings. It added that oral remarks are not part of the order and hence there is no question of expungement.
The Apex Court declined a plea made by the Election Commission to restrain the media from reporting oral remarks made by a Division Bench of the Madras High Court.
The court was delivering the judgement in the petition filed by election Commission against the oral remarks of Madras High Court that the Election Commission was singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID in the country and it should probably be booked for murder charges. It said that the media coverage of court hearings is part of freedom of press and it has bearing on citizens right to information and also on the accountability of the judiciary.