Calcutta HC extends by a day stay on Bengal panchayat polls process
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Monday extended by a day till Tuesday its stay on the West Bengal's panchayat election process.
A single-judge bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar extended the stay till 2 p.m. on Tuesday in view of an appeal filed before a Division Bench of the High Court against the stay.
A Division Bench of Justice Biswanath Samaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee is slated to hear the case at 4.30 p.m. on Monday.
Justice Talukdar had, on Thursday, stayed the election process till April 16 on a petition by the Bharatiya Janata Party and asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to furnish by that date a comprehensive status report on the polls.
On Monday, BJP representative Pratap Banerjee furnished a bond of Rs five lakh as fine imposed by the court on the party for "misrepresenting facts" by moving both the Supreme Court and the High Court on the same plea.
Justice Talukdar also permitted the state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury to become a party in the case, overruling objections from Trinamool Congress counsel Kalyan Banerjee.
The two opposition parties have moved the court, accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2.
The two parties also called the SEC a puppet of the ruling TMC after the poll panel withdrew its earlier order of extending the filing of nominations by a day, within a few hours of issuing the order last week.
The panchayat elections were originally scheduled for May 1, 3 and 5, with the counting of votes slated on May 8.