Supreme Court To Hear BJP’s Plea For Central Forces In Bengal Local Polls

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The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear the appeal against the Calcutta High Court order filed by the BJP regarding the need to deploy paramilitary forces for polls in West Bengal. Elections in 108 municipal corporations are scheduled for Sunday in West Bengal.

A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli posted the matter for Friday for a hearing after senior advocate Paramjit Patwalia, appearing for BJP leaders Pratap Banerjee and Mousumi Roy, mentioned the matter for early hearing.

The senior counsel told the bench that the high court has left it to the State Election Commission to decide as to whether the deployment of central forces will be required or not.

“Virtually we are administering the governance. Already it is under consideration of Commission. Why should we hear it?” the bench said.

To this, Paramjit Patwalia replied that the Supreme Court on a plea of Trinamool Congress had passed orders for deployment of central forces for the local body elections in Tripura.

On Wednesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj of the high court had directed the State Election Commissioner to collect information about conditions prevailing at each of the municipalities where elections are scheduled for Sunday.

It directed the commissioner to hold a joint meeting with the Home Secretary and the Director-General and Inspector General of police within 24 hours to examine the ground situation in each of the 108 municipal areas and “take a decision in writing in respect of deployment of paramilitary forces by mentioning the relevant circumstances in support of his decision to deploy/not to deploy the paramilitary forces”.

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