The Calcutta High Court on Friday quashed the state election commission’s April 10 notification which had rescinded its earlier order that extended the last date of filing of nomination for state panchayat polls. The court also directed the state election commission to issue fresh extension of filing of nomination for panchayat polls. According to the court, the stay on all panchayat process which was issued on April 12 will be lifted once the state election commission issues fresh notification for nominations.
While hearing the petition filed by the BJP, the single bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar also directed the state election commission to reschedule the election dates. The panchayat polls in West Bengal is scheduled to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 while the counting of votes was scheduled to be held on May 8.
The Opposition welcomed the Calcutta High Court verdict. “It is victory for the people of the state who believe in democracy. The high court has quashed the state election commission’s April 10 notification which has cancelled its earlier order to extend the last date of nominations. Today the court has asked the state election commission to extend the date of filing nominations to allow all those Opposition candidates who could not file their nominations. We welcome the high court verdict,” said state BJP general secretary Pratap Banerjee who had moved the court against the state election commission’s April 10 notification.
The Trinamool Congress too welcomed the order and said that it will not challenge the Calcutta High Court verdict in the higher court. “We welcome this verdict. We will not move the higher court to challenge this verdict,” said TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee.
Sources in the state election commission said that it will take further decision after receiving the copy of the high court verdict.