Setback for Mamata govt, HC upholds state EC's decision
Kolkata: In a setback to the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court today upheld the primacy of the State Election Commission and directed that the panchayat elections would be held in three phases with Central armed police force as per the SEC's prayer.
Holding that the primacy of the SEC was non-negotiable, Justice Biswanath Somadder, directed that the rural polls be held in three phases as sought by the commission, rejecting the state's notification for holding the elections in two phases.
Holding that there was absolute necessity to hold the elections before the term of the present panchayats ended sometime in June, Justice Somadder observed that it was an extraordinary situation and as such it required extraordinary directions.
Justice Somadder, passing the order on the SEC's petition claiming that the state government's decision to hold the rural polls in two phases was unilateral and the need to deploy central forces, directed the state to provide names of 400 observers from IAS and WBCS Executive cadre to the commission, as demanded by it, within tomorrow.