SC rules out re-elections for uncontested local body seats in West Bengal

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Aug 2018 2:00pm

SC rules out re-elections for uncontested local body seats in West Bengal

In a huge relief for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Supreme Court has ruled out re-elections in West Bengal Panchayat Polls that the TMC won uncontested in May.

The SC order came in response to a special leave petition filed by Bengal’s State Election Commission (EC) in May.

In the run-up to the state panchayat elections, the opposition parties – like the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress – had approached the Calcutta High Court, pleading that their candidates were unable to file nominations on time, because of the alleged violence carried out by the Trinamool workers.

The Calcutta High Court, however, directed the state EC to accept electronically filed nomination papers. Following this, the Election Commission had approached the apex court.

When the case came up for hearing in July, the top court had expressed shock
over the large number of seats that had been left uncontested in the local body elections, and had observed that this development is a sign of how “grass root-level democracy” was not working.

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had then ordered an interim stay on the e-filing of nominations and the publication of the results of the uncontested seats.

However, the SC bench today said that there will be no re-election, holding that the aggrieved persons can file election petitions challenging the result of the uncontested seats before the concerned court within 30 days.

Keeping in view of the seriousness of allegations of nominations being stopped, Supreme Court allows individuals to take legal recourse,” the bench said.

The court further said that, “the results for those seats, held back on court orders, can now be declared by the Election Commission.

Tagged: Mamata Banerjee   Trinamool Congress   TMC   West Bengal Panchayat Polls   Bengal State Election Commission   BJP   Congress   Calcutta High Court   Supreme Court  
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