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Judgment day for Panchayat polls today

Kolkata: The single Bench of Calcutta High Court comprising Justice Subrata Talukdar will pronounce its judgment over the Panchayat poll case on Friday.
The State Election Commission issued a notification extending the last date of nomination by a day on April 9. Again, on April 10 it issued another order scrapping its earlier order. Challenging the second order, BJP's Pratap Banerjee moved a petition before the single Bench of High Court on April 10.
The court issued an interim order staying the election procedure of the State Election Commission. It also fined the petitioner for misrepresenting the court. The BJP has been accused of "forum hopping" — simultaneously moving the Supreme Court and High Court on the same matter.
The high court again heard the case on April 12 and extended the stay order till April 16. Challenging the interim order, the Trinamool Congress moved the Division Bench. The Division Bench referred the matter back to the single Bench.
After listening to the petitioner, SEC officials, Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Panchayats and Rural Development department and the Trinamool Congress as well, the court decided to pronounce its judgment on Friday.
The State Election Commission had earlier announced to hold the Panchayat elections in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5 respectively. Political experts said the election would be deferred and a new fixture will have to be prepared by the SEC.

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