Court snubs Mamata government on panchayat polls

Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) In a virtual snub for the Mamata Banerjee government, the Calcutta High Court Friday ordered three-phase panchayat (rural body) polls and directed the state to fully compensate the shortfall in security forces by deploying central paramilitary forces.

The court asked the commission to intimate the state government about the three-phase polls and the revised time table of the election to be made before the expiry of the term of the present panchayat bodies.

Delivering his order, Justice Biswanath Samaddar said the government would have to inform the SEC by Saturday about the list of observers for the polls.

The SEC had moved the court April 1 seeking rejection of the panchayat election dates earlier notified by the state government.

In its petition, the Commission raised question about section 42 of the West Bengal Panchayat Election Act, citing which the Banerjee government March 22 had announced two-phased polls to be held April 26 and April 30, under the supervision of the state police personnel.

The Commission also sought permission to seek and deploy adequate number of security personnel including central paramilitary forces.

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