Calcutta High Court stays West Bengal panchayat polls

West Bengal panchayat polls Supreme Court refuses to intervene tells BJP to approach Calcutta HC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain BJP's plea on West Bengal panchayat elections, but expressed displeasure over state election commission's flip-flop, which had extended the date of filing nominations by a day before rescinding its order.

The Calcutta High Court has asked the West Bengal Election Commission for a status report on the process, reports said. The petition was filed against the SEC's decision to recall its order of extending the deadline for filing nominations for the Panchayat polls by a day. West Bengal Congress President Adhir Chaudhury said, "The Court stay has healed our injuries caused by the prolonged violence by TMC across the state for the last fortnight". SEC had rolled back the notification on Tuesday morning and cited legal issues after issuing for withdrawing the order that was issued on Monday night. The court, accusing the BJP of "forum hopping" also directed it to submit an amount of Rs 5 lakh with the Registrar General, as they had suppressed facts that they had moved both Supreme Court and High Court at the same time on the same issue. Notably, the polling for the three-phased elections is slated to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 while the counting of vote has been scheduled for May 8.

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Justice Talukdar had on April 10 stayed the SEC order, permitting the commission to take steps in accordance with the law by treating the operation of its order dated April 10 to have been kept in abeyance. "We will move against this", Banerjee said.BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, adding that his party will legally contest the fine. The original period for filing of nominations was between April 2 and 9. Sourabh Kumar Das, secretary in the panchayat and rural development department, said the state had followed the necessary procedure in asking the commission to conduct the elections. Justice Subrata Talukdar on Thursday has asked SEC for an all-inclusive report on April 16, which is the next hearing date. "The Trinamool made a mockery of the election process by unleashing violence on Opposition candidates". Left Front Chairman Biman Bose welcomed the Court order.

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