Kolkata, June 14: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday issued an order to the State Election Commission asking it to direct all police authorities in the districts across the state to “assist” candidates who are not able to file nominations.
Thursday is the last day for filing nominations for the three-tier panchayat elections scheduled for July 8.
The Division Bench headed by Justice Rajasekhar Mantha has said that the police should act to assist candidates to submit nominations upon receiving complaints from them.
A large number of candidates failed to submit nominations due to violent resistance allegedly by the supporters of the ruling party, who threatened and beat up oppositions on their way to file candidatures
The High Court’s order came in the order in response to a joint petition filed by ISF candidate Md Abdul Maleque Molla and two others, who were allegedly beaten up and prevented to file nomination by armed Trinamul supporters at the Bhangar-I block development office on Monday.
The order states “….the court deems it necessary to direct the State Election Commission to exercise power as vested on them under section 46 (2) of the West Bengal Panchayat Election Act, 2003, and direct all concerned police stations to render necessary assistance to those candidates, who are not able to file nominations, upon receipt of complaints in this regard on or before the last date of filling nominations, i.e. tomorrow” (Thursday).
The court also asked the commission to communicate with the Director General of West Bengal police so that he asks all the Police Superintendents to ensure compliance with the order. The court also in particular asked the Commission to communicate the order to the officer in charge of Bhangar and Kashipur police stations, under whose jurisdiction the three petitioners live.
The petitioners have welcomed the High Court’s order. “We are hopeful that police would extend assistance to use tomorrow to file us nomination”, Md Abdul Maleque Molla, a petitioner said.
An ISF leader in Bhangar said, “This order is quite symbolic and not meant for the three petitioners only, rather it directed the commission to ensure assistance so that all candidates who face difficulties could file nomination”.