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West Bengal municipal election: SC dismisses BJP's plea for deployment of Central forces for polls

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2022 13:43 IST

New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders regarding the need to deploy paramilitary forces for polls in 108 Municipal Corporations, scheduled for February 27 in West Bengal.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant refused to entertain the plea saying it was not inclined to interfere with the High Court order and dismissed the petition.
As the bench dismissed the plea of BJP leaders, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta tried to intervene on behalf of the Centre saying in Tripura municipal election case, his opinion was sought and Centre said it would abide with orders of deployment of Central forces and same can be done here too.
"Court has decided not to entertain this (petition). But in the Tripura elections matter, the Court had asked if the government can do something. I may submit that we have no problems in deploying the forces," Solicitor General told the apex court.
During the hearing, senior advocate PS Patwalia, appearing for BJP leaders, argued that there were widespread reports of violence during the previous phases of elections.
The senior counsel alleged that the State Election Commission was biased towards the ruling party All Indian Trinamool Congress.
Patwalia also contended that the Supreme Court on a plea of All India Trinamool Congress had passed orders for the deployment of central forces for the local body elections in Tripura.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by BJP leaders challenging the Calcutta High Court order which asked the State Election Commission to decide whether paramilitary forces needed to be deployed for the polls to 108 municipalities on February 27.
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 had 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".
The High Court order had come on the plea of BJP leaders Pratap Banerjee and Mousumi Roy had
The pleas in High Court have alleged that large scale violence and rigging of votes took place during the recently conducted municipal elections in West Bengal and accordingly sought for the deployment of central forces for the upcoming elections to the remaining 108 municipalities. (ANI)