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HC asks TMC, SEC to file appeals for urgent hearing

Kolkata: A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday asked Trinamool Congress and the State Election Commission (SEC) to file their appeals first, to seek urgent hearing.
The party had moved to the division bench, challenging the order of the single bench on Thursday that stayed the Panchayat elections in West Bengal till April 16. The bench, consisting Justice Biswanath Somadder and Arindam Mukherjee, said it would hear the appeals on Monday, after they are filed and notices served to all parties involved in the case.
Justice Subrata Talukdar, while staying the order on Thursday, had also fixed further hearing of the matter on April 16. SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya and TMC vice-president Kalyan Banerjee made a verbal plea before the division bench on Friday, urging the bench to hear their appeals on an urgent basis, after Justice Talukdar's order stalled the Panchayat election process in the state.
The Court on Thursday had sought a comprehensive status report from the SEC on the poll process by Monday, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, among other information.
Justice Talukdar had said he would hear on April 16, the pleas challenging SEC's decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day.
It may be mentioned that the nomination process for the polls had ended on April 9, but was extended by a day by SEC and then withdrawn in less than 24 hours. Challenging this, BJP had moved the High Court.

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