The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the State Election Commissioner (SEC) to hold a meeting with the officials of the Government of Bengal to examine the ground situation of the 108 West Bengal municipalities which are going to conduct polls on February 27 and take a decision whether to deploy paramilitary forces or not.
The court also said that the State Election Commissioner has to ensure that no violence takes place and there is peaceful conduct of elections.
The plea was filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking deployment of central forces for the upcoming elections to the remaining 108 municipalities. The party in its plea alleged that in the recent municipal elections in West Bengal, violence took place and a huge number of party workers of Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties were killed by the TMC goons.
A bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj had asked the SEC to ensure that a joint meeting is conducted with the Home Secretary of the State and other officials within 24 hours.
“We direct that the Commissioner, Sate Election Commission will collect information in respect of the conditions prevailing in each of the Municipalities where the elections are scheduled and will hold the joint meeting with Home Secretary of the State and Director General and Inspector General of the Police within 24 hours and will examine the ground situation of each of the 108 Municipalities 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.”
Earlier, the Calcutta High Court had dismissed a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wherein the BJP had sought deployment of Central Forces for the Kolkata Municipal Elections.
The Municipal elections took place in December 2021. The top court had also refused to entertain the plea seeking deployment of Central forces for the Kolkata Municipal Elections.
“We cannot take decision with respect to the requirement of Central forces. High Court will be in a better position to know the situation”, told the Supreme Court.