Bypoll: HC refuses to record EC's affidavit citing 'wrong format'

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Friday refused to take on record the affidavit filed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in response to the PIL, challenging the poll body's decision to prioritise the by-election of Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency — scheduled to be held on September 30 — citing constitutional exigency.

A Division Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, concluded hearing in the matter on Friday and reserved the judgment. The Division Bench came down heavily on the EC for filing the affidavit in an incorrect format.

The Court observed that the affidavit did not contain any specific averments pertaining to the issues raised.

"That constitutional exigency was not there when it came to the other Assembly constituencies? Why did you select only one constituency," remarked acting Chief Justice Bindal.

Advocates Dipayan Chowdhury and Sidhant Kumar, appearing for the Election Commission, contended that the affidavit had been prepared in 'a great hurry' and thus contained error.

On September 6, the EC had issued a notification stipulating that the by-election would be conducted for the Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency on September 30, underscoring the exigency and special request received from the state's Chief Secretary to hold the same.

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