Kolkata: Even as a two-judge division bench of the Calcutta high court declined to interfere with the panchayat elections in West Bengal, it slammed the state election commission, saying it was itself responsible for its neutrality being repeatedly questioned.

The bench said the commission could have easily avoided the controversy over the change from three-phase polling to a single-phase. “The commission has itself invited litigations after the election process commenced," the bench said in its order on Friday.

“It ought to have allayed the fears and concerns of all stakeholders," the bench said.

On 8 May, the chief justice of the Calcutta high court will give his verdict on the single-phase poll scheduled to take place on 14 May after reviewing security arrangements.