West Bengal Panchayat Poll 2018: Supreme Court to hear state poll panel’s plea at 2 pm today

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New Delhi | Updated: May 10, 2018 5:13:04 PM

The Supreme court will today hear the West Bengal State Election Commission's plea challenging the Calcutta High Court's order on State Panchayat elections.

supreme court, West Bengal Panchayat Poll 2018: Supreme Court to hear state poll panel?s plea at 2 pm today. (PTI)

The Supreme court will today hear the West Bengal State Election Commission’s plea challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order on State Panchayat elections. On Tuesday, the High Court had directed the State Election Commission to accept the nominations of candidates who have filed it online 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 State Election Commission has sought a stay order on Calcutta High Court order saying, the commission would suffer “irreparable loss and injury”.

“There is a prima facie case in favour of the petitioners and there is every likelihood of the success of the instant petition. An ad-interim stay of the operation of the judgement and final order of 8 May 2018,” the State Election Commission told the top court in its plea.

The major opposition parties Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the Bharatiya Janata Party have also filed a caveat petition before the apex court saying no ex-parte orders should be passed.

The High Court’s decision on Tuesday came on a plea filed by the CPI(M) stating that its candidates failed to reach the Block Development Office (BDO) and Sub-divisional Offices (SDO) to file nominations. The party also added that it had filed 800 nominations through e-mail.

Earlier this week, the High court had ordered the SEC to submit the detailed data of complaints filed by those candidates who failed to submit nominations for the three-tier rural polls within May 7 night. The poll body had told the High court that it received nominations of 25 candidates through e-mail on April 23.

Earlier this month, the Calcutta High Court had refused to interfere in the state panchayat poll, but asked the SEC to function in a neutral manner.

On May 1, a single judge bench of the High court had said that the SEC’s decision to hold the panchayat polls on May 14 can be considered as a tentative date. The court had also said that the final decision regarding the dates will be taken by the division bench.

As per an earlier notification of WBSEC, the rural 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 directive of the High court to announce new dates, the poll body on April 21, 2018, notified April 23 as the last date for filing nominations. The new circular also notified April 25 as the last date of scrutiny and May 14 as new date for the election.

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