West Bengal Panchayat Election 2018: Calcutta High Court stays all poll process till 16 April after two die in violence

The Calcutta High Court today stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal, a day after two persons were killed in a fight during a victory procession in North 24 Parganas district.

FP Staff April 12, 2018 14:18:19 IST
West Bengal Panchayat Election 2018: Calcutta High Court stays all poll process till 16 April after two die in violence

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal till further orders, a day after two persons were killed in a fight during a victory procession in North 24 Parganas district.

While staying the election process, Justice Subrata Talukdar also sought from the State Election Commission (SEC) by Monday a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, amongst other information.

West Bengal Panchayat Election 2018 Calcutta High Court stays all poll process till 16 April after two die in violence

Representational image. PTI

The court said it would hear on 16 April the pleas challenging the SEC's decision to withdraw its 9 April notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day.

Justice Talukdar had on 10 April stayed the withdrawal of SEC's 9 April notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.

Justice Talukdar also imposed a cost of Rs five lakh on the BJP for misrepresentation.

He held that the BJP had moved both the high court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas and likened its conduct to "forum hopping".

The apex court had on Wednesday directed the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal.

Apart from the BJP, the CPM and the Congress too has moved the high court challenging the SEC's decision.

There are 48,751 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 9,240 seats in 341 panchayat samitis and 825 seats in 20 zilla parishads, the sources said. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is 16 April while the elections are scheduled to take place 1, 3 and 5 May.

The West Bengal government has been facing a lot of scrutiny from the Opposition parties with reports of poll-related violence continuing to emerge from the state.

Meanwhile, the Left Front is likely to go ahead with its six-hour bandh in West Bengal from 6 am on 13 April in protest against "throttling of people's rights" during filing of nominations for panchayat elections in the state.

Chief Minister and ruling Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, however, has termed this as "nothing but drama" and said everything will run as usual on Friday.

With inputs from PTI

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