The Supreme Court resolved Friday the face-off between the West Bengal government and the state poll panel over holding panchayat elections by ordering a five-phase poll starting July 11.
A vacation bench of Justices A K Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi said the polls be held in not three but five phases,and starting later than the earlier date of July 2 saying it may not be possible to deploy forces by July 2.
The court also directed the state government to arrange for at least 35,000 security personnel and the Centre to provide 15,000 to 25,000 personnel for each phase respectively.
Nominations,scrutiny of nominations,printing of ballot papers etc.,which have already been completed and declaration of results which have already been made will not be re-opened, the bench said.
The court was hearing the petition moved by the West Bengal SEC,fearing the Calcutta High Court may not be able to take a timely final decision about deployment of forces by the state government and the Centre for the elections.
The apex court had Wednesday sought replies from the state and the Centre on how they intended to meet the requirement of forces as mentioned by the HC in its previous orders.