Calcutta High Court directed the State Election Commission to file an affidavit stating whether contempt rules could be issued against it for not using central force as directed by the court before the July 8 panchayat polls in the state.
The division bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam also sought a separate affidavit from the Bengal government stating whether compensation had been given to the family members of 54 persons who had died in rural poll violence.
During an earlier hearing in the case, the state had promised the court that it would give compensation to the family members of the 54 deceased persons.
The advocate general had submitted that the state government was planning to give adequate compensation to family members of the victims. The compensation could be in the form of financial assistance or a government job to the next of kin of the dead.
The court also wanted to know about the compensation amount and whether it had been disbursed to the family members of those dead.
The court was hearing separate petitions moved by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Congress leader Abu Hassem Khan Chowdhury praying for an order issuing contempt rules against the State Election Commission (SEC) for not utilising central force even after the court’s order.
The division bench fixed the petitions for hearing again on September 26.
While hearing the petitions on July 24, the lawyer appearing for Adhir had claimed that even after the state had assured the court that compensation would be given to the poll victim, the government did not disburse it.
On Monday, Adhir’s lawyer raised the issue in the court again.
According to Opposition parties, 54 lives were lost during this year’s panchayat polls.
Generally, cases relating to polls or poll results are not disposed of since the next polling date comes after five years.
During the previous date of hearing of the contempt petitions, along with other pleas, related to panchayat polls, the division bench expressed its desire to dispose of all cases related to panchayat polls as early as possible and sought the cooperation of all parties involved in the cases.