Fed up with tussle over Bengal panchayat polls: Court

Kolkata, June 26 (IANS) With the State Election Commission (SEC) moving the Supreme Court over the West Bengal panchayat polls, the Calcutta High Court Wednesday expressed happiness over the matter shifting to the top court and said it was “fed up” with it.

A division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi made the remarks while hearing an application filed by the SEC seeking adequate security forces for the upcoming panchayat polls.

“Entire India is looking at the case and I am happy that it has gone to the Supreme Court. At least there will be a verdict now. I am fed up with the case. I am happy,” said the chief justice after being informed about the SEC’s move.

The state government counsel described the “sudden” move of the SEC to approach the apex court as a “disgrace” and accused the panel of being “unwilling to hold the polls”.

“This is a disgrace. They (SEC) don’t have the courtesy even to inform the court or the parties before moving to the Supreme Court.” This is a clear indication that they don’t want to conduct the polls, said government counsel Ashok Banerjee, triggering a war of words with the opposing counsel.

The court later rebuked the counsel saying “it was shocked at the conduct of the parties”.

“We have moved the Supreme Court,” said SEC counsel Lakshmichand Biyani.

The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to the central and West Bengal governments on the SEC petition seeking adequate security for holding panchayat elections.

Speaking to the media later, Banerjee said the poll panel’s move had undone all the good work done by the high court to ensure that the polls were held.

“The court has been going out of the way to ensure the polls happen. But the SEC has once again made it clear that it was not willing to conduct the elections,” said Banerjee.

The poll panel and the Mamata Banerjee government have been at loggerheads over the issue of deployment of central security forces for the July 2, 6, 9 panchayat polls.

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