HC stays West Bengal panchayat polls till further orders

Saturday 14th April 2018 07:48 EDT

KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court has stayed till further orders, the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal. Justice Subrata Talukdar, while staying the election process, also sought from the State Election Commission by Monday, a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, among other information. The court said it would hear pleas challenging the SEC's decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, on April 16.

Justice Talukdar had stayed the withdrawal on SEC's April 9 notification directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance, on April 10. He held that the BJP had moved both the high court and the Supreme court on similar pleas, likening its conduct to “forum hopping”. The SC had directed the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal.

Calcutta High Court rejected West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress' appeal to fast track the hearing of a plea challenging the court's order to stall the Panchayat election process in the state till April 16. A division bench of Calcutta High Court said it will hear the case next week, and asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to first file a petition on the matter and serve notice to all parties involved. The Bench comprising of Justice Talukdar also imposed a fine of Rs 5 Lakh on the BJP for misrepresenting facts by moving both the Supreme Court and the high court on the same plea.

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