Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

HC rejects CPM plea on West Bengal panchayat polls

Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, a CPM leader and a lawyer, said his party may move the division bench against Wednesday's decision of the Calcutta high court

Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, seeking permission to file nominations for the upcoming panchayat elections through electronic messaging, a day after justice Subrata Talukdar ruled that nominations filed by nine candidates through WhatsApp were to be treated as valid.

An exception had once been made, but Talukdar declined to repeat it saying the court did not wish to interfere after Kalyan Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress MP and a lawyer, submitted in court that there was no provision under the West Bengal Panchayat Act to allow filing of nominations through electronic messaging.

Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, a CPM leader and a lawyer, said his party may move the division bench against Wednesday’s decision.

At the same time, the court admitted the CPM’s petition alleging contempt of court by the director general of police and the state election commission for not being able to provide adequate security for the filing of nominations on 23 April. The petition will be heard in June.

Meanwhile, the commission refrained from announcing a revised polling schedule even as the All India Minority Forum said polling should not be held during the month of Ramzan starting 15 June. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, general secretary, said the forum could move court if the commission decides to hold polling during Ramzan.

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