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Mamata's election petition: HC grants time to Suvendu to file written statement

Google Oneindia News

Kolkata, Nov 15: The Calcutta High Court on Monday granted time till November 29 to Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari to file written statement in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's challenge of his election from Nandigram.

Suvendu Adhikari

The court said a plea by Adhikari, a BJP leader, for adjournment of the proceedings till disposal of his transfer application of the case by the Supreme Court will be considered on December 1 along with the main petition.

Justice Shampa Sarkar, allowing an application by Adhikari's lawyers for extension of time to file the written statement, directed that it ''must be filed within two weeks i.e. November 29, 2021 peremptorily''.

The court had earlier directed Adhikari to file the written statement by November 15.

His lawyers submitted that the statement has not yet been finalised, but the draft has been prepared.

Advocate General S N Mookerjee, appearing for Banerjee, opposed the prayer for extension of time.

Mookerjee submitted that the BJP MLA is intentionally avoiding filing of the written statement only to linger and delay the proceedings.

He stated that the provisions of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandate that such proceedings must be completed within a period of six months.

Adhikari has moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the election petition of Banerjee challenging the election result that declared him as winner from Nandigram constituency to any other high court.

Receiving an affidavit of compliance by Banerjee's counsel, Justice Sarkar noted that the petitioner has complied with the earlier order of this court with regard to payment of fine. Justice Kausik Chanda, who was earlier assigned the election petition of Banerjee, had released it on an application by her for recusal, while imposing a cost of Rs 5 lakh on her. Adhikari, a protege turned adversary of the Trinamool Congress supremo, defeated her from the Nandigram constituency by 1,956 votes in the assembly election held earlier in the year. She was later elected to the assembly in a by-poll.

Banerjee in June filed an election petition before the Calcutta High Court praying for declaring the election of Adhikari from Nandigram as null and void.

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