Court refuses to suspend ruling on Bengal panchayat polls

Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court, hearing the West Bengal government’s appeal over the panchayat polls issue, Monday refused to suspend its earlier verdict that upheld the primacy of the state election commission.

The state government appealed before the division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice J.M. Bagchi for an injunction against Justice B. Sommader’s verdict Friday wherein the court directed the poll panel to conduct the rural body elections in three stages, deploying central security forces.

Hearing the appeal, the bench refused to grant the state government’s plea to suspend Justice Sommader’s verdict observing that “conducting panchayat polls is a constitutional obligation which cannot be postponed”.

The court said it will hear the appeal on a day-to-day basis and dispose of the matter swiftly.

It also directed the two parties – the appellant (state government) and the respondent (SEC) – to conclude their arguments and submissions as early as possible, preferably by Tuesday.

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