Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Calcutta High Court likely to decide fate of Bengal panchayat poll today

Calcutta High Court likely to decide fate of Bengal panchayat poll today

Kolkata: Uncertainty over holding the panchayat elections in West Bengal as scheduled between 1 May and 8 May intensified on Monday after a division bench of the Calcutta high court dismissed an appeal against last week's trial court order stalling the electoral process.

The high court on April 12 stalled all proceedings of the poll until its fresh order, which is likely to be passed on Monday. Read Also: West Bengal: World War II bombs found in Nadia district's lake The division bench comprised of Justice Biswanath Samaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee heard the case at on Monday.

TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee, who had moved the petition to the division bench on behalf of his party, confirmed the same. The single bench will hear the case from tomorrow. "Our petition also deals with a number of vital constitutional issues, which the court has to deliberate on", said CPI-M counsel in the single bench Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.

Eventually on 12 April, justice Talukdar issued an interim order stalling the electoral process and asking the commission to explain what it had done to address complaints from opposition parties.

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The opposition parties have moved the court, accusing the ruling party of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2. Those who could not file their panchayat poll nominations due to the ruling party terror will breathe a sigh of relief now. We never wanted to stall the election. The opposition parties' candidates faced attacks on their way to file their nominations. The appeal in Division Bench has been discarded by the court. We did not want the polls to be postponed. The case will be heard in Single Bench. "The TMC was refusing because it knew that the order will not be in their favour".

Panchayat poll in the state is significant as it is considered to be crucial for the General Elections, which will be held next in 2019. CPM's Rabin Deb and Congress state chief Adhir Chowdhury's petitions on the same were made party to the BJP petition.

The division bench's ruling came within few hours the extension of the stay by Justice Subrata Talukdar by another day till Tuesday.

Justice Talukdar on Thursday stayed the election process following a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to furnish by that date a comprehensive status report on the polls.

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