Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Bengal panchayat polls: HC extends stay on process by a day

Bengal panchayat polls: HC extends stay on process by a day

Scores of Congress leaders, led by West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, today began a day-long sit-on-fast-demonstration in the city to protest the alleged largescale violence across the state during and post filing of nomination papers for Panchayat polls, while a Division Bench of Calcutta High court was presently hearing a case related to Panchayat election.

A single-judge bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar extended the stay till 2 p.m. on Tuesday in view of an appeal filed before a Division Bench of the High Court against the stay.

Its far-reaching effect be measured, the Monday's order could throw cold water on the State's "strong resolve" to complete by May 8, the three-tier rural polls - a almost one-sided exercise - already dismissed by the Opposition parties as a sham in the absence of central forces and with thousands of their candidates having failed to file nominations in the face of large-scale violence perpetrated by the armed-to-teeth Trinamool cadres.

"The division bench has said that it will not interfere in the case as the matter is pending at the single bench".

TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee, who had moved the petition at the division bench on behalf of his party, confirmed the same.

He had earlier stayed the poll process on April 12 till April 16 and had directed the SEC to submit a comprehensive report including filing of nomination apart from action taken reports on complaints where such nominations where being hindered.

The judge had earlier stayed the withdrawal of the notification, directing the state poll panel to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.

The panchayat elections were originally scheduled for May 1, 3 and 5, with the counting of votes slated on May 8.

The nomination process for the panchayat polls ended on April 9, but had been extended by a day by the SEC, which later withdrew the notification.

Though the state BJP moved Supreme Court, the apex court referred the case to the Calcutta High Court last week.

The high court on April 12 stalled all proceedings of the poll until its fresh order, which is likely to be passed on Monday.

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