The Calcutta High court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission to accept the nominations of candidates who have filed it online. The court also asked the SEC to accept the nominations which were filed till 3 pm on April 23, 2018.
The Calcutta High court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission to accept the nominations of candidates who have filed it online. The court also asked the SEC to accept the nominations which were filed till 3 pm on April 23, 2018. A division bench of the court led by Justice B Somadder and A Mukherjee also asked the poll body to accept the valid nominations.
The move comes after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had filed a petition before the court after its candidates failed to reach the BDO and SDO office for filing nominations. The party had filed around 800 nominations through e-mail.
On Monday, the High court had directed the State Election Commission to submit the details of complaints filed by the candidates over not being able to file nominations for the rural polls within the night. The poll panel had told the court that it received only 25 nominations through e-mail on April 23.
Last week, the High Court had refused to interfere in the upcoming West Bengal panchayat poll but came down hard on the State Election Commission (SEC), asking it to function in a neutral manner. The division bench of the High Court led by Justice B Somadder and Justice A Mukherjee said that they will not interfere with the dates announced by the State Election Commission. However, the court pulled up the state poll body and reminded it of its duties and warned the commission to take the order as a wake-up call.
On May 1, the court had said that the State Election Commission’s decision to hold the West Bengal rural polls on May 14 can be considered as a tentative date at best. The court had also said that the final decision regarding the same will be taken by the division bench.
Opposition BJP, CPI(M) and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) had moved the court of Justice Talukdar claiming that his earlier directions on announcing the date for elections were also not complied with by the commission with regard to prior consultations with stakeholders. They also claimed that the commission, which had earlier announced the date for elections in three phases, has now notified that it would be done in only one phase, raising concerns over the safety and security of voters as well as candidates.
As per an earlier circular of WBSEC, the panchayat election in the state was scheduled to take place in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5 and the counting of votes was scheduled on May 8. After the direction of the High court to announce new dates, the Commission on April 21, 2018, notified April 23 as the last date for filing nominations. The last date for scrutiny is April 25 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 28, 2018. In a notification on April 28, the SEC had announced the new date for the election as May 14.