West Bengal panchayat polls results : SC gives BJP, CPM 30 days to file petitions

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Aug 24 : Rejecting the petitions filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the  Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) challenging the West Bengal Panchayat polls,the Supreme Court on Friday said that aggrieved persons can challenge these results  by filing election petitions within 30 days time.

The Supreme Court  permitted the notification of the results of about 21,000 uncontested seats in the recently held West Bengal panchayat polls that were won by Trinamool Congress unopposed in May.Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist had alleged that the ruling party people had obstructed them from filing the nomination papers.

Taking recourse to its plenary powers under Article 142, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, however, permitted the aggrieved candidates who could not file their nomination papers in the seats that went uncontested, to move the election tribunal within 30 days.

However,the Supreme Court set aside the Calcutta high court order permitting filing of nomination through electronic means including, Whatsapp and e-mail.

Holding that there was no provision for e-filing of the nomination papers, Justice Chandrachud said that any challenge to an election should take place in accordance with the procedure known to law.

He said obstruction to filing nomination papers is a serious matter.

On August 13, the Supreme Court had asked West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) whether it had done any exercise to find out if candidates were prevented from filing nominations in seats which were won unopposed in the recent local body polls.

The top court verdict came on a plea by the West Bengal State Election Commission, challenging the Calcutta High Court’s May 8 order permitting e-nominations and reading the provision of the Information Technology Act into the Representation of People Act.

On July 3, the apex court had said that it would examine whether the high court, in exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution, could permit e-filing of the nomination papers by reading the provision of Information Technology Act into the Representation of People Act.




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