The court has criticized the State Election Commission (SEC) for its inadequate response and expressed concern over post-election violence
Summary: The Calcutta High Court has ruled that the panchayat elections in West Bengal and the subsequent declaration of results will be subject to its final orders on allegations of electoral malpractices. Petitioners have called for repolling in 50,000 booths, citing violence and malpractices. The court has criticized the State Election Commission (SEC) for its inadequate response and expressed concern over post-election violence. The court's cautionary stance emphasizes the need for a fair electoral process and places responsibility on the state government to ensure peace and security.
Kolkata, 12JULY(City Times): The Calcutta High Court has stated that the panchayat elections in West Bengal and the declaration of results will be subject to its final orders in connection with matters related to alleged electoral malpractices. The court has directed the State Election Commission (SEC), the state government, and the central government to file affidavits addressing the allegations made in three petitions regarding malpractices.
Allegations of Violence and Malpractice
The petitioners have alleged large-scale violence and electoral malpractice during the panchayat elections held on July 8. They have requested the SEC to conduct repolling in approximately 50,000 booths to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process.
Court’s Cautionary Stance
The court has emphasized that while the matter is under its consideration, the conduct of the elections and the declaration of results will be subject to the ultimate orders that may be passed. The SEC has been directed to inform all the candidates who have been declared elected about this aspect.
Insufficient Response from the SEC
The court has expressed its dissatisfaction with the response from the State Election Commission, stating that it is of the prima facie view that the response is not adequate. The court has raised questions about the commission’s lack of proactivity, especially considering that the court has been monitoring the entire process since June 13.
Post-election Violence and State’s Responsibility
The court has expressed surprise and concern over the violence that has erupted in several places even after the declaration of results. It has emphasized that ensuring there is no breach of peace lies with the state government. The court has underlined the seriousness of the matter, highlighting the need for the state government to fulfill its responsibility of safeguarding its citizens.
Fair and transparent electoral process needed
The ruling by the Calcutta High Court has introduced uncertainty to the results of the rural panchayat elections in West Bengal, as they are now contingent on the court’s final orders regarding allegations of electoral malpractices. The court’s cautionary stance emphasizes the importance of conducting a fair and transparent electoral process, while placing responsibility on the state government to ensure peace and security. As the court continues to examine the allegations and evidence, the future of the election results remains uncertain, and the state government must address the post-election violence effectively.