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Calcutta HC Stays WB Panchayat Poll Process Till April 16, Fines BJP Rs 5 Lakh For Misrepresentation

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| April 12 , 2018 , 14:28 IST

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed the process for the upcoming Panchayat elections in West Bengal till April 16, directing the Election Commission to file a factual report in the court on the poll process.

The court also fined the BJP Rs 5 lakh for misrepresentation, likening the party's conduct to "forum hopping" after the saffron party approached both the High Court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas.

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Staying the election process, Justice Subrata Talukdar of the Calcutta High Court sought from the State Election Commission (SEC) by April 16 a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, amongst other information.

The court on April 16 will be hearing the pleas challenging the SEC's decision to withdraw its April 9 notification extending the date of filing nominations by a day. Previously, on April 10, Justice Talukdar had stayed the withdrawal of SEC's April 9 notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.

The BJP had approached the judiciary, both the High Court and Supreme Court alleging that the party was being blocked from filing nominations for the Panchayat polls, as the last date for filing nominations was April 9.

When approached, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere in the West Bengal Panchayat polls, directing the BJP to approach the Calcutta HC with its grievances.