New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the date to file nomination papers for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal.

The West Bengal panchayat elections are scheduled to be held on 1, 3 and 5 May and the votes are to be counted on 8 May.

The last date of filing nominations is today and the last date of scrutiny of the nominations is 11 April.

A bench of justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre, however, said that the candidates were at liberty to approach the state election commission today.

The court was hearing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal unit’s plea alleging that its candidates are not being allowed to file their nomination papers for the panchayat polls next month.

In its plea, the BJP sought an extension of the last date of nomination and online availability of nomination papers.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, counsel for the West Bengal unit of the BJP, said that democracy was being murdered and large scale violence being witnessed in the state as candidates were not being allowed to file their nomination papers.

It was also alleged that assistant panchayat electoral registration officers appointed by the West Bengal State Election Commission, the authority tasked with direction, control and preparation of electoral polls to panchayats and municipalities were refusing to give nomination forms to BJP candidates.

PTI contributed to this story.

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