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HC upholds SEC schedule of municipal poll dates

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Calcutta High Court today directed that election to 12 municipalities in the state be held on September 21 and that of Midnapore in November, upholding the proposition of the SEC over that of the state government.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi, accepting the submission of the State Election Commission, directed that polls for 12 municipalities in the state be held on September 21, while that of Midnapore Municipality be held on November 22.

The SEC and the state government had differed over the dates for election to the municipalities. It had earlier differed over the number of phases of the just-concluded panchayat elections and deployment of central forces and fought a legal battle over it.

A writ petition had been filed by lawyer Basabi Roy Chowdhury before the court, praying that election to the municipal bodies be held early to avoid appointment of administrators as the term of the elected bodies for the 13 municipalities has expired on June 29, so as to ensure that these function properly and without hindrance.

Both the SEC and the state government were made respondents in the matter.

The state government contended before the court that the election be held in the first week of September as preparations for Durga Puja, due in October, would be at its peak on the date proposed by the commission.

The SEC, however, stated that owing to the panchayat polls, counting for which is scheduled on July 29 and other issues like finalisation of voter lists, it would not be possible to hold the elections so early and wanted the date to be on September 21 for 12 municipal bodies and one in November.

Hearing both the parties, the high court upheld the contention of the commission.

The 12 municipalities which would go to polls on September 21 are Burdwan, Guskara, Mekhliganj, Dalkhola, Balurghat, Diamond Harbour, Chakdah, Panihati, Habra, Dubrajpur, Haldibari and Alipurduar.

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First Published: Fri, July 26 2013. 16:55 IST
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