SC asks BJP to approach Calcutta HC over WB panchayat polls grievances
New Delhi, Apr 11: The Supreme Court asked the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court tomorrow with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the West Bengal panchayat polls.
The top court said that the Calcutta High Court is already seized of the matter and had passed an order staying the State Election Commission's (SEC) decision to recall its order extending the deadline by a day. A bench of justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre requested the Calcutta High Court to consider the matter tomorrow in accordance with the law.
The West Bengal unit of BJP had moved the apex court, hours after the state poll panel suddenly recalled its decision extending till yesterday the last date for filing of nominations for next month's panchayat election in the state, allegedly under pressure from the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The saffron party, in its petition, had said it was seeking protection of the right of its candidates to enable them to collect and deposit the nomination forms and participate in the panchayat elections, scheduled to be held on May 1, May 3 and May 5. It had said the state poll panel had on Monday announced that the last date of for the nominations has been extended by one day, while acknowledging the fact that several complaints were received regarding candidates being obstructed from filing nominations.
The party said that "in absolute colourable exercise of powers and in utter disregard to the observations of this court suddenly at around 11 PM on April 10, the WB State Election Commission has passed a fresh order thereby recalling and rescinding the previous order dated April 9, 2018".
The apex court had earlier asked the West Bengal state election commission to "ensure fair and free" panchayat poll in the state and take appropriate steps to allay the apprehensions of the BJP or other candidates of not being allowed to contest the elections.
It had, however, refused to interfere with the poll process, saying that with the April 2 notification of the State Election Commission, the poll election process has been set in motion.