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Calcutta High Court: CBI will investigate violence during nomination for Bengal Panchayat elections; High Court order

Pankaj Prasad
Calcutta High Court
Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court has directed a CBI probe into the incidents of violence that broke out during the filing of nominations for the West Bengal Panchayat elections.

News Desk, Amar Ujala, Kolkata Published by: Shiv Sharan Shukla Updated Wed, 21 Jun 2023 06:55 PM IST
Calcutta HC directs CBI probe into violence that erupted over filing of nominations for Panchayat polls
Calcutta High Court - Photo: Social Media
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The Calcutta High Court has directed a CBI probe into the incidents of violence that broke out during the filing of nominations for the West Bengal Panchayat elections and allegations of documents being tampered with by the Returning Officer in Uluberia 1 block of Howrah district. Justice Amrita has ordered to submit the report by July 7, a day before the polling, in the case of violence during the nomination before the election. Along with this, the High Court has directed the West Bengal Election Commission to requisition over 82,000 central forces personnel within 24 hours for deployment in the Panchayat elections.

As per information, two petitioners who are candidates have leveled allegations against the Panchayat Election Returning Officer of the block. He has claimed in the petition that the concerned officer had tampered with the documents filed by him while filing the nomination.

Sabyasachi Chatterjee, counsel for the petitioners, told the court that both the candidates belonged to the OBC-A category. He has proper certificates, but the Panchayat Election Officer's documents mentioned it as SC-W and it was pending in his records.

After hearing their submissions, Justice Amrita Sinha directed Joint Director CBI to investigate the allegation by July 5. Along with this, it has also been said that the investigation report should be presented before the court on July 7. The matter will be heard on July 7.

The petitioners had demanded an independent agency probe into the allegation of tampering of documents. He had alleged that such incidents had happened at other places as well.

At the same time, the State Election Commissioner (SEC) and the counsel for the state government said that they should be allowed to investigate the allegations.

To this, Justice Sinha said that the argument of the State and the SEC cannot be accepted. The officer against whom the allegation is made is in service with the state authorities and is responsible for conducting free and fair elections.

Significantly, the opposition parties had filed a petition in the High Court regarding the violence that took place during the nomination for the Panchayat elections. These opposition parties include BJP, Congress and CPM. The petition alleged that due to the violence, the names of some candidates disappeared from the list of candidates. In the petition, the CPM has alleged that the list uploaded on the website of the State Election Commission did not have the names of its candidates. Justice Amrita Sinha heard this on Wednesday. Expressing displeasure over the violence, he ordered the State Election Commission to include the names of the candidates in the list.

During the hearing, he said that so much violence has been seen in the Panchayat elections. If such bloodshed continues, then the elections should be stopped. Significantly, a day earlier, the Supreme Court had made a strong comment regarding the violence in the state.