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Get rid of 2 'partisan' spl poll observers

Get rid of 2 partisan spl poll observers

Kolkata: An Independent candidate who is contesting from Barrackpore seat in the Lok Sabha elections has filed a writ petition at the Calcutta High Court seeking cancellation of the Election Commission's appointment of Ajay V Nayek and Vivek Dubey as Special Observer and Special Police Observer respectively.

According to the writ petition, Section 20B of Representation of People's Act 1951 provides that EC should nominate an Observer who shall be an officer of the government. "It is pertinent to note that Section 20B of the RP Act, which deals with appointment/nomination of an observer clearly mandates that such observer should be an officer of the Government and such requirement is mandatory. Hence, retired IPS and IAS officers do not fulfill the requirement as laid down in Section 20B of The RP Act, 1951," the petition states.

"Their appointment is in complete violation of section 20B of the RP Act 1951 so their appointments are illegal and liable to be dismissed," advocate Dwidhiti Bhaduri who had moved the plea with the Calcutta High Court on behalf of petitioner Ramu Mandi has stated in his petition.

The petition further mentions that one of the Observers retired in 2015 and the other in 2018. "So, they are not officers of the government and hence their appointments are illegal and liable to be dismissed," the petition adds.

Mandi apprehends that the two Observers have no fear of sanctions against their service records since they have already retired. "In such circumstances they do not have any duty or obligation under law to act fairly and in the interests of the citizens of India and to me also. They are also making false observations and baseless recommendations for some purported purposes and to suit their vested interest," Mandi said.

The petition also alleges that the two officials "…by making unnecessary and unwarranted statements in public about the state of West Bengal's purported precarious condition. It appears that these appointments have been made to denigrate the election process."

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