Discuss with state if deployment of Central Forces is needed for civic polls, HC tells SEC
KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold a meeting with top officials of the state government within 12 hours to appraise the ground situation in the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation area and ascertain whether the deployment of paramilitary forces was necessary to ensure peaceful polling on February 12.
The court said the SEC Commissioner would be personally liable to ensure peaceful elections in Bidhannagar if he forms an opinion that deployment of paramilitary forces was not required in the civic body jurisdiction, adjoining Kolkata.
"Commissioner, State Election Commission, will hold the joint meeting with the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary of the state and the Director General and Inspector General of Police within 12 hours and will do the reappraisal of the ground situation in Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation area and ascertain if deployment of paramilitary forces is necessary," a division bench presided by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava ordered.
Elections to the municipal corporations of Bidhannagar, Asansol, Siliguri and Chandannagar are scheduled to be held on February 12.
The court, passing its order on prayers seeking deployment of paramilitary forces in Bidhannagar on the apprehension of violence during the polls, directed that the commissioner, if he forms an opinion in favour of such deployment, will submit a requisition to the Union Home Ministry or the competent authority. Disposing of the petition, the bench observed that so far, no instance of violence has been pointed out nor any such material has been enclosed along with the prayer which furnishes ground for the deployment of paramilitary forces in the forthcoming Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation elections.
"Therefore, at this stage, we do not find sufficient material to accept the prayer," the bench said.