Calcutta HC allows EC to file affidavit in Bhowanipore bypolls case
The Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed the Election Commission (EC) to file an affidavit regarding the contents of the notification issued by it for the Bhowanipore bypoll.
The court was hearing public interest litigation that urged it to step into the poll process in the constituency, as the EC allegedly mentioned that a constitutional crisis would arise if the by-election to Bhowanipore was not held, which the petitioner claimed the poll body cannot.
The advocate representing the EC sought a short adjournment to file an affidavit regarding the contents of two paragraphs of the notification issued for the election, in view of the arguments raised by Bikash Bhattacharya, the senior counsel for the petitioner.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj adjourned the hearing in the PIL till Friday when it will be taken up again.
The West Bengal government had during an earlier hearing on September 13, submitted that the chief secretary of the state had only written to EC, requesting that the bypoll be held and the commission had accepted the request.
It had submitted that the state has no role in the decision to hold the bypoll and that it is the sole preserve of the EC.
Bypoll to Bhowanipore was necessitated following the resignation of Trinamool Congress MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay to facilitate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's election to the assembly.
Banerjee lost in Nandigram, as per the results of the Assembly election declared by the EC in May.
According to the constitutional provision, a person has to get elected within six months of taking oath as a chief minister or a minister. She took oath as chief minister for the third consecutive term on May 5.