Madras HC slams Election Commission over Covid surge
Coming down heavily on the Election Commission for “not stopping political parties” from violating Covid protocols during their campaign rallies for Assembly polls in four states and an Union Territory over the last month, the Madras High Court said Monday that murder charges should probably be imposed on the panel for being “the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today”.
The scathing observations came four days after the Calcutta High Court had censured the EC for not doing enough to ensure that political parties were following appropriate Covid protocols amid the surging second wave.
“You have been singularly lacking any kind of exercise of authority. You have not taken measures against political parties holding rallies despite every order of this court saying ‘maintain Covid protocol, maintain Covid protocol’,” the Madras High Court observed.
Centre asks Serum, Bharat Biotech to cut vaccine prices
The central government on Monday asked Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to lower the price of their Covid-19 vaccines amid criticism from several states who have accused the companies of profiteering from the crisis.
The issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. The two companies are now expected to come up with revised pricing for their vaccines.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of Covaxin at Rs 600 per dose for state governments, and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals.