With the state government dithering on the issue,the Calcutta High Court Friday fixed the dates of elections to 12 municipalities,whose tenure end this month,four other municipalities and Howrah Municipal Corporation.
It was a constitutional obligation for the state government, the court observed while accepting the State Election Commissions (SEC) submission.
The SEC and the state government were at odds over the dates for election to the municipalities.
Recently,the two had fought a protracted legal battle over the just-concluded panchayat election schedule.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed that the election to 12 municipalities be held on September 21 while four other municipalities as well as Howrah Municipal Corporation go for election on November 22.
The notification for holding the poll in 12 municipalities has to be issued on August 16,the Division Bench said.
Hearing a PIL accusing the state government of trying to run civic bodies by appointing administrators,the Division Bench said the municipal elections have to be held within five years of the last elections according to the provisions of the Constitution.
Today,an SEC counsel told the High Court that the municipal elections cannot be held before September 20 as counting of votes of the panchayat elections would take a month and formation of the panchayats would take around two-and-half months.
On the other hand,the state government counsel suggested that elections to the 12 municipalities be held before September 10,as Bishwakarma Puja falls on September 17 and Durga Puja begins immediately thereafter.
He reminded the court that the Muslims had felt aggrieved when the panchayat elections were held in Ramzan.