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High Court to Mamata govt: give dates for civic polls due in July

Calcutta, Jun 26 (PTI): The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the West Bengal government to state within 12 days when it planned to hold elections to the municipalities whose terms were ending by July.

Acting on a petition by the State Election Commission seeking direction to the state government to hold polls within the stipulated time, Justice Joymalyo Bagchi directed the government to file the affidavit by June 7 and asked the SEC to file its reply by June 10.

Justice Bagchi fixed the matter for hearing on July 11.

Appearing for the state, Government Pleader Ashok Banerjee submitted that seven of the 17 municipalities, terms of which were scheduled to culminate by July end, were being transformed into municipal corporations.

The court asked the state to inform it why it wanted to transform the municipalities into municipal corporations and why elections were not notified for the other 10 municipal bodies.

It directed the state to inform it through the affidavit by which date it planned to hold the elections.

The SEC, headed by chairperson Meera Pandey, and the state government had been at loggerheads earlier also over holding of panchayat elections in West Bengal in 2013.

The issue was fought bitterly in the courts and had gone up to the Supreme Court, on the direction and guidelines of which the polls were held in the state.


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