Calcutta HC: State EC’s Order Quashed


Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Friday instructs the state EC to extend the nomination for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal.

The Calcutta High Court sets aside its earlier order and directs State Election Commission to issue fresh extension for filing of nomination and polls in consultation with the state. It is a victory for the oppositions party in the state as well as for the saffron party.

The panchayat election in the state was scheduled to be held on 1st May was stalled by an order of justice Subrata Talukdar last week after the state election commission extended time for filing nominations and then reversed it.

On April 10, the court had stayed the withdrawal of SEC’s April 9 notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance. The court also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the BJP for misrepresentation.

Likening the BJP’s conduct to “forum shopping”, Justice Talukdar held that the party had moved both the high court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas. On Wednesday, Supreme Court 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.

Opposition parties in the state termed the high court order as a “victory of democracy over dictatorship” and alleging widespread violence during filing of nominations.

Earlier in a verdict passed by a division bench of the Calcutta high court, it was observed that the apex court had already considered the question of whether the judiciary could intervene. It was also held that justice Talukdar, who had issued an injunction to halt the electoral process, would continue to hear the matter.

Congress member of Parliament (MP) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged the commission was acting at the behest of the Trinamool Congress, the ruling party.