The division bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee said it was “unable to reconcile (with) the fact” that the EC was unable to give any “update on action… (and) enforcement” of its own circulars.
The high court bench directed the commission to respond “with a very short affidavit” on Friday morning, stating that the poll panel could not just frame rules and ask people to adhere to them while its officers sat “in their chambers”.
“We are sure that the circulars are not merely advisories to be wrapped up by political parties or those involved in political propaganda or even the public at large,” the court added.
Bengal’s chief electoral officer Aariz Aftab had earlier this week submitted a detailed response to the HC on the Covid-safety measures the EC had taken, including a ban on campaigning between 7pm and 10am. The affidavit also mentioned the guidelines given to parties and their star campaigners.