An advocate and member of the Election Commission's panel of counsels in the Supreme Court court resigned from the panel on Thursday, May 6, over the functioning of the current Election Commission of India.
According to Live Law, advocate Mohit D Ram, in his resignation letter, said that being a part of the office of standing counsel of the Election Commission and serving as one of the panel counsels later was a "cherishing milestone" in his career. He was a panel counsel in the Supreme Court since 2013.
"However, I have found that my values are not in consonance with the current functioning of the ECI; and hence I withdraw myself from the responsibilities of its panel counsel before the Supreme Court of India," advocate Ram said.
The resignation comes a week after the Election Commission moved the Supreme Court challenging the Madras High Court's verbal observation that the polling body "should probably be booked for murder".
"Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably," the Madras High Court had told the EC.
The observations came last month, while a Madras High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing an AIADMK leader's plea seeking directions to the EC to implement strict measures during counting on May 2.
The High Court held that by allowing rallies to continue despite the massive surge in cases amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EC has failed to enforce the safety norms. The court had also observed that EC failed to exercise its authority and did not take any action against political parties holding rallies despite the court orders to "maintain Covid protocol".
On April 29, the EC again moved to Madras High Court, urging them to direct media to restrict their reportage to written orders and not verbal observations. However, the court dismissed the plea.
The EC has called the remarks "baseless, disparaging and derogatory, and uncalled for" and moved to the Supreme Court on May 2.
While hearing the EC's plea, the apex court said that the media could not be stopped from reporting on oral observations and told the EC to take the Madras High Court's observations in the "right spirit".