Trinamul Congress moves SC for urgent hearing on Tripura polls
The Trinamul Congress on Friday moved the Supreme Court alleging its Thursday’s order on ensuing “peaceful and transparent” civic polls in Tripura was violated with impunity as Opposition candidates were not allowed to enter booths and even the direction for requisitioning additional two battalions of paramilitary forces was not complied with by the state.
“…There is complete mayhem…what has transpired is horrendous,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal representing Trinamul told a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud while seeking urgent listing of the matter.
However, Justice Chandrachud who was sitting with Justice A.S. Bopanna expressed inability to list the matter for urgent hearing because of non-availability of the bench which had passed the order on Thursday. Justice Surya Kant and Justice Vikramnath were part of the bench. Sibal pleaded that the matter be taken up at 4pm on Friday or at least on Saturday though the court is closed on Saturday.
Justice Chandrachud said it may not be possible because of the pressing judicial work and also because of the two day tight schedule on account of the Constitution Day celebrations scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Hence, the matter may come up on Monday.
In an order on Thursday, the bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath said: “...we direct that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to provide additional two companies of any CAPF (central armed police force) as expeditiously as possible, having due regard to the fact that polling has already commenced and in order to secure the polling booths so that polling can take place without any disturbance or dislocation.”
In the absence of CCTV cameras at the polling booths, print and electronic media should be provided unhindered access, the court said.
The bench had directed the DGP and the Tripura home secretary to immediately review the security arrangements and make a requisition to the Union home ministry for additional forces, if required.
“We direct the State Election Commission, the director-general of police and the secretary, home affairs, Tripura, to ensure that every polling booth is manned by a sufficient strength of CAPF personnel, bearing in mind the sensitivity of the polling station and the need for a requisite number of personnel to guard the polling booths to ensure free and fair elections,” the bench said.
It is these directions which Sibal alleged have been violated by the State.
The AITMC and the CPM have both earlier moved the top court alleging largescale violence and intimidation of its cadre by the ruling clique and sought postponement of the elections, until foolproof security arrangements were in place for free and fair conduct of the fiercely fought civic elections in the State where Mamata and her brigade is seeking to make deep inroads into the BJP’s bastion.