West Bengal panchayat polls: SC rejects pleas by BJP, CPM, says challenge must be pursued through election petitions

West Bengal Panchayat elections: The Supreme Court also said that the charges of obstruction of elections is a serious matter.

Setting aside a Calcutta High Court order on West Bengal Panchayat polls, the Supreme Court Friday said that the challenge to the local body polls in the state must be pursued through election petitions. The top court also said that the charges of obstruction of elections is a serious matter and rejected pleas by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the CPI(M) seeking cancellation of panchayat polls over 20,000 uncontested seats.

The Apex court said the time limit of 30 days for filing election petitions would commence from the date of notification of panchayat poll results. “Whoever is aggrieved with the election results can file their petitions before the concerned court within 30 days.”

The Calcutta order had allowed the filing of nomination papers through e-mail, WhatsApp in the West Bengal panchayat polls.

Reacting to the order, Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said, “Historic verdict by SC on West Bengal Panchayat poll. Opposition parties should apologise to people of the state.”

On August 13, the Supreme Court had asked West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) whether it had done any exercise to find out if candidates were prevented from filing nominations in seats which were won unopposed in the recent local body polls.

The panchayat polls this year, led to violent clashes in the state which claimed at least twelve lives reportedly and injured several others.

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