Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Panchayat poll case sent back to Calcutta HC's single bench

Arjun Ram Meghwal Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal. Express
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2018, 00:52

The division bench said the single bench would decide whether the petition was maintainable or not.

Claiming that the single bench's observation that the petition was "maintainable at this stage" was erroneous, Banerjee, a TMC Lok Sabha MP and a lawyer by profession, submitted that maintainability of a petition could not depend on any given stage.

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Monday said petitions regarding the panchayat polls in West Bengal will be heard by a single bench that stayed the election process. "It has said that the single bench will hear the matter now", he said.

Justice Talukdar had stayed the election process for the three-tier panchayat elections on April 12 and had directed the SEC to submit a comprehensive report including filing of nomination and rejection of nomination. The appeal in Division Bench has been discarded by the court. The opposition had went to HC asking for a stay in Panchayat election procedure alleging widespread violence by the ruling party. We never wanted to stall the election.

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The two opposition parties have moved the court, accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2. Read Also: Madras High Court allows to mercy killing of ailing Salem temple elephant BJP leader Mukul Roy said, "It is a moral victory for us. The TMC was refusing because it knew that the order will not be in their favour".

"The state government is trying to turn the panchayat polls into a farce", state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury said. Though the Trinamool-led government's lawyer appealed in division bench, the bench has returned the case to single bench of Justice Talukdar.

Taking suo-motu cognisance of the issue, a report on facts of the case has been called along with written reply from the government of West Bengal through Chief Secretary, Secretary (Home), Director General of Police and Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, the release said.

The panchayat elections were originally scheduled for May 1, 3 and 5, with the counting of votes slated on May 8. On Monday, the single judge bench extended the stay by a day.

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