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techkenyot.com October 20, 2018


Calcutta HC extends by a day stay on Bengal panchayat polls process

17 April 2018, 04:23 | Glen Norman

Court. | PTI

Court. | PTI

The division bench of Calcutta High Court sent the case of the Panchayat Election process back to the single bench on Monday, making it more hard to complete the election process by the slated time.

Noting that it was not unmindful of the expiry of the present panchayat in August and the necessity of completing the process by then, a division bench said that it, however, does not want to interfere in an "intra-court matter" at this stage and directed that the petitions be heard before the single bench.

During the hearing at the division bench on Monday, which began at 10.30am, the court rapped secretary of the State Election Commission, Nilanjan Shandilya, who began his submission by saying, "I am not an expert in law".

The Division Bench returned the matter to the Single Bench with a request of it being heard speedily - preferably on daily-basis. The next hearing at the single bench is at 2 pm on Tuesday.

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The SEC submitted a report before Justice Talukdar as was directed by him earlier.

The SEC and the Trinamool Congress had moved the appeal before the division bench, challenging the stay on the election process and on the maintainability of BJP's petition.

During Tuesday's argument, Trinamool counsel Kalyan Banerjee argued that the petitions filed by Bharatiya Janata Party as well as by Communist Party of India-Marxist and others accusing the state ruling party of conducting large scale pre-poll violence in the state and demanding fresh election process, removal of the State Election Commissioner and imposition of para-military forces during the elections, are not at all maintainable.

The high court on April 12 stalled all proceedings of the poll until its fresh order, which is likely to be passed on Monday.

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Though the state BJP moved Supreme Court, the apex court referred the case to the Calcutta High Court last week.

The panchayat elections are scheduled for May 1, 3 and 5, while the counting of votes is due on May 8.

On Monday, BJP representative Pratap Banerjee furnished a bond of Rs five lakh as fine imposed by the court on the party for "misrepresenting facts" by moving both the Supreme Court and the High Court on the same plea.

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