Panchayat poll: Govt warns court of constitutional crisis

The Trinamool Congress government on Tuesday told the Calcutta High Court that there would be a constitutional crisis if the panchayat election process was not completed by June 10 when the tenure of the grassroots organisations in the state would end.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: May 1, 2013 4:57:34 am

The Trinamool Congress government on Tuesday told the Calcutta High Court that there would be a constitutional crisis if the panchayat election process was not completed by June 10 when the tenure of the grassroots organisations in the state would end.

Arguing on the petition filed by the state election commission seeking scrapping of the panchayat poll notification issued by the government,Advocate General Bimal Chatterjee said the state government intended to hold the panchayat polls within June 10,2013 failing which the three-tier panchayat system would be left defunct,leading to a constitutional crisis. Chatterjee urged the high court to pass an order on that merit.

Following such submission,Justice Biswanath Somadder told Chatterjee that the court had requested both the sides to resolve the issue by discussions. But Chatterjee and Samaraditya Pal,counsel of the election commission,failed to resolve the dispute between the state government and the state election commission,said Justice Somadder .

Chatterjee,meanwhile,handed over a reply of the DGP to the court which explained the meaning of the CAPF mentioned in his letter to the home secretary written on January 2 this year. The reply of the DGP said that the term ‘CAPF’ mentioned in the letter referred to central forces which were already deployed in the Maoist-affected districts.

Chatterjee said that the state government could arrange further security forces from other states apart from the central forces deployed in the Maoist-affected districts for the election. Following such,Justice Somadder questioned Chatterjee why the state government did not want to request the Centre for additional forces for the election. Why the state government took the decision to arrange security forces from neighboring states? Justice Somadder asked Chatterjee. To which,the AG said the state poll panel wanted to deploy 300 companies of central forces from the date of the filing of nominations. So a huge number of central forces would have to arranged for at least 16 days and a large amount of money was involved.

Justice Somadder asked Chatterjee to explain whether the state government would be able to deploy at least two police personnel in each booth. Chatterjee failed to reply to it and said that he would have to take instruction from the state government on it. The case will be heard next on Thursday.

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