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SC seeks EC reply on plea challenging appointment of poll observers in Bengal

SC seeks EC reply on plea challenging appointment of poll observers in Bengal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Election Commission, the West Bengal government and others on a plea challenging the appointment of two retired bureaucrats as special observer and central police observer in the state for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

The plea, filed by an Independent candidate of the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, came up for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta.

The bench issued notice on the petition and posted it for hearing before a vacation bench on May 21.

"Issue notice, returnable on May 21. List before the vacation bench of this court," the bench said.

Barrackpore was one of the seven constituencies in West Bengal where polling was held Monday in the fifth phase of the general elections.

The petition, filed by Independent candidate Ramu Mandi, alleged that the two observers -- Vivek Dubey and Ajay V Nayak -- have been appointed in contravention of the law so as to ensure "certain favours" are granted at the time of election.

It stated that Dubey has been appointed as central police observer for West Bengal and Jharkhand while Nayak has been appointed as special observer for West Bengal only.

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