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Supreme Court to Hear on June 20 Plea Against High Court's Order on Central Forces for Panchayat Polls

By Harshvardhan Sharma      20 June, 2023 09:58 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court to Hear on June 20 Plea Against High Court's Order on Central Forces for Panchayat Polls

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on June 20 a plea by the West Bengal government and the State Election Commission against the Calcutta High Court's orders for deployment of central para military forces within 48 hours in sensitive districts during the Panchayat polls.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the State Election Commission, mentioned the matter before a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and M M Sundresh for urgent hearing.

Following the reports of violence, the High Court's directions had come on petitions filed by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and BJP leader Shuvendu Adhikari and others.

The counsel said the SEC was aggrieved by the High Court's orders of June 13 and June 15.

She said the High Court did not provide an opportunity to the SEC to file its response or affidavit in matter.

The West Bengal government also filed a separate plea against the June 15 order, saying it had already sought assistance of police forces from different States across the country.

"The High Court failed to consider that on 12 June 2023 the petitioners had already requisitioned police forces from the States of Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Punjab and Tamil Nadu as additional forces for forthcoming Panchayat Elections," it said.

The plea also claimed that the High Court has relied on newspaper reports which have no evidentiary value.

"The High Court fails to take into consideration that the appointment of Central paramilitary forces does not guarantee lack of violence during the election process," the plea said.

Seven people have reportedly been killed since the announcement of the panchayat polls on July 8.

In the last panchayat polls in 2018,  a large-scale violence, besides 20 murders, were witnessed. Opposition parties had alleged that their candidates were not allowed to file nominations. The ruling TMC had then bagged around 90% of the seats, of which 34% were uncontested.



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