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regular-article-logo Friday, 01 March 2024

Fate of candidates declared elected hinges on outcome of cases: Calcutta High Court

The high court strongly criticised the roles of both the commission and the Bengal government in the elections

Tapas Ghosh Calcutta Published 13.07.23, 06:38 AM
Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court File picture

A division bench of Calcutta High Court said on Wednesday that the fate of candidates elected to three tiers of panchayats would depend on the result of petitions pending for disposal before it.

The division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam made the observation while dealing with a clutch of petitions filed by leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and a few others in regard to the large-scale violence and the killings across Bengal during the panchayat poll process.

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"The State Election Commission and the candidates declared elected in the polls will have to keep it in mind that everything will depend on the results of these three petitions and other related cases," the Chief Justice said.

The high court strongly criticised the roles of both the commission and the Bengal government in the elections.

"It seems the state government had failed to provide safety to the peace-loving citizens of the state," Justice Sivagnanam remarked.

In an order, the bench sought reports from the state and the commission to know whether the court orders had been properly addressed.

"The State Election Commission is directed to file a report whether the orders of the court since June 13 were properly carried and properly complied with,'" the order read.

The bench asked the SEC to preserve all videos related to the violence and the killings. At the same time, the court directed the state police authorities to take all measures so that no further incident of violence and bloodshed took place.

The bench asked the SEC and the state to file theirreports by July 17 and fixed the matter for hearing on July 18.

In the same order, the bench held that primarily, the observation of the court was that the SEC did not apply its mind to obey orders passed by the court since June 13 on election-related petitions.

Even though the petitioners claimed to have served notices on the SEC, no one was present to represent the commission during the hearing on Wednesday.

The Chief Justice mentioned in his order his dissatisfaction with the "lack of proper activeness" on the part of the SEC on conducting the elections.

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