Calcutta HC refuses TMC plea to reverse stay order on Bengal Panchayat polls

A division bench also instructed the single bench to fast-track the hearing in the case.

Kolkata: Dashing hopes of the Trinamool Congress and the West Bengal State Election Commission the division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday sent their cases, challenging the last week’s stay order by the single bench on the Panchayat Elections, to the single bench again.

The division bench of Justice Bishwanath Samaddar and Justice Arindam Mukhopadhyay also directed the single bench to fast-track the hearing in the case. 

It suggested that the hearings can be done daily if needed.

The division bench’s ruling came within few hours the extension of the stay by Justice Subrata Talukdar by another day till Tuesday.

In his previous order the judge had ordered the stay till Monday. The division bench’s order has come as a big blow to the ruling party and also the state poll panel.

Emphatic over the ruling BJP leader Pratap Banerjee, also a lawyer, said, “The division bench held that only the single bench would hear the matter. We did not want the polls to be postponed. Today’s ruling is the verdict of the democracy of the state. We welcome the order. The opposition parties’ candidates faced attacks on their way to file their nominations. We now hope that those who could not file their nominations would be able to do so.”

He added, “This victory is not for the BJP but also for the people who love democracy. The matter will come up for hearing at 2 pm on Tuesday.” BJP leader Mukul Roy, said,” This is the people’s victory. The respect towards the Indian Constitution has increased only with this order. I am indebted to the media which showed the state of affairs in West Bengal. The Trinamool is killing democracy by misusing the police and administration. It happens in no other states in the country.”

He claimed, “Like the CPI(M) had to leave the power due to its misrule of over three decades, Mamata Banerjee also have to leave the power in between 2018 and 2021.”

CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb said, “The division bench rejected the appeals of the Trinamool and state poll panel which challenged the single bench’s stay order. It refused to interfere into the single bench’s order. We became parties in the case. But we do not want the polls to be postponed.”

Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee who appeared for the ruling party said, “The court said it would not interfere in the single bench’s order.”

He added that he would not challenge the division bench’s order further.

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