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Thursday, June 8, 2023

WB Panchayat polls: Suvendu Adhikari approaches SC against Calcutta HC order

The leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday approached the Supreme Court challenging an earlier order from a division bench of the Calcutta High Court.

The HC had refused to interfere in the process started by the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) for conducting the polls for the three-tier panchayat system.

On March 28, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bhardwaj dismissed the PIL filed by the leader of the opposition, and said that the WBSEC will take all decisions pertaining to the polling and the court will not interfere in the matter.

However, since the apex court will be closed till April 4 and will reopen on the next day, the leader of the opposition made a parallel appeal to the same division bench of Calcutta High Court with an appeal so that WBSEC does not announce the dates within the next seven days till the time the apex court reopens for regular hearing.

The matter will come up for hearing at the division bench of Calcutta High Court in the post- lunch session on Thursday only.

To recall, Adhikari filed the PIL on two grounds. The first ground was that the current population figure of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the state should be arrived at on the basis of household survey as was done in case of other backward classes (OBCs). In the PIL he contended that there could not be two separate yardsticks, one in case of SC/ST and the other case of OBCs.

The second ground highlighted in the PIL was relating to the deployment of central armed forces for the rural civic body.

Although the division bench of Justice Srivastava and Justice Bharadwaj dismissed the PIL on March 28, it allowed the leader of the opposition to file a separate petition on the point of deployment of central armed forces.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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