New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court on Thursday said the West Bengal Panchayat elections will be held on May 14, as per the earlier schedule.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra Justice, A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the State Election Commission and West Bengal government to ensure free and fair polls.
In its order, the Court also directed the State EC not to issue a notification on the declaration of results till July 3.
Supreme Court said #WestBengal Panchayat elections will be held on May 14, as per the earlier schedule. SC asked State Election Commission & state government to ensure free and fair polls. SC asked State EC not to issue notification on declaration of results till July 3 pic.twitter.com/bW5Yz0KwId
— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2018
After hearing the SEC plea for about 45 minutes, the apex court said that it was concerned about the High Court order and that 34 percent of candidates were elected unopposed, that is, in about 17,000 of the total 48,000 seats, news agency IANS reported.
“What is worrying us is both the High Court order and 34 percent candidates getting elected unopposed,” the Chief Justice said.
Describing the High Court order as “most absurd”, senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi asked how could e-nomination be accepted as a candidate is supposed to appear before the Returning Officer concerned, file nomination papers in person, sign the nomination form, and deposit fee.
Dwivedi stated that there is a procedure for further scrutiny of the nomination papers and objection raised by contesting candidates, but the High Court had directed the state poll panel to straightway accept nominations filed through emails.
The court fixed July 3 for the next hearing.