Bengal panchayat poll: HC division bench refuses to interfere with stay

Arjun Ram Meghwal

Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal. Express

Earlier in the day, Justice Talukdar extended by a day, till Tuesday, its stay on the election process, as the matter was slated to come up in the division bench later following the appeal moved by the Trinamool and the SEC.

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

Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee who appeared for the ruling party said, "The court said it would not interfere in the single bench's order".

Emphatic over the ruling BJP leader Pratap Banerjee, also a lawyer, said, "The division bench held that only the single bench would hear the matter".

It observed that the question of maintainability of the petition by the BJP would be decided by the court of Justice Subrata Talukdar, who stayed the election process on 12 March and fixed the hearing in the case for Monday.

The SEC on Monday submitted the status report before the court.

They also accused the State Election Commission of acting like a puppet of the state ruling party after it withdraw its order of extending the nomination process by a day, within a few hours of issuing it.

The draft West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulations) Rules 2017 say, among other things, that "no employee of the university shall without the permission of the VC, publish anonymously or in his own name or in the name of any other person in the press or in the electronic media any document or make any statement of fact or opinion that has the effect of any adverse criticism of any current policy or action of the state government". We have always wanted that all Opposition candidates be allowed to file their nominations.

"We have complete faith in the Indian constitution and the judiciary. BJP leader Mukul Roy, said", This is the people's victory. Though the Trinamool-led government's lawyer appealed in division bench, the bench has returned the case to single bench of Justice Talukdar.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist, which had moved the Supreme Court seeking postponement of the election and removal of the SEC but was asked to raise the matter in the High Court, also welcomed the order. "The single bench judge will decide if the writ petition is maintainable or not".

While leaders and workers of the Left parties held a rally, Congress leaders held a hunger strike at Rani Rashmoni Road in central Kolkata.

"Today's verdict proves that the Panchayat polls in Bengal is not transparent".

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