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Inform us about officials to be put on poll duty: Calcutta HC to SEC

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bhardwaj also directed the state government to inform it about the number of containment zones in poll-bound areas.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 12, 2022 5:21:38 am
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the WBSEC said the state government has not announced a lockdown and therefore, there was no reason to defer the elections and the revised guideline of the state poll panel takes care of the concern raised by the petitioner.

THE CALCUTTA High Court on Tuesday directed the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) to submit an affidavit within 48 hours to inform it about the sufficient number of officials to be deployed on poll duty for election to four municipal corporations on January 22 amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation. A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bhardwaj also directed the state government to inform it about the number of containment zones in poll-bound areas.

“Having regard to the prevailing Covid situation, counsel for the Election Commission is directed to examine and place on record if sufficient number of persons free from Covid infection are available for deployment on different booths for the purpose of holding elections. Learned counsel for the State is also directed to place on record the facts and figures relating to the Covid situation including positivity rate, percentage of population affected with Covid, rate of increase of Covid-affected persons and containment zones in the four municipal corporations where elections are going to be held,” read the court order.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking postponement of elections in municipal corporations of Bidhannagar, Siliguri, Asansol and Chandannagar, scheduled on January 22, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in the state. The court has posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the WBSEC said the state government has not announced a lockdown and therefore, there was no reason to defer the elections and the revised guideline of the state poll panel takes care of the concern raised by the petitioner.

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