Kolkata: A division bench of the Calcutta high court on Monday reprimanded the West Bengal state election commission again after its legal counsel was unable to immediately provide details of how many complaints it had received from opposition parties over the filing of nominations for panchayat elections.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, over filing of nominations by electronic messaging, which the commission claimed was not allowed under the laws of the state.

The commission admitted to receiving 25 e-mails from the CPM for the nomination of 62 candidates.

When Nayanchand Bihani, the lawyer representing the commission, eventually told the court that the watchdog had received some 340 complaints and that these were forwarded to district magistrates for investigation, the bench asked him to give details of each on Monday itself.

The bench will give its verdict on Tuesday.

On Friday, the same bench had observed that the commission was itself responsible for its neutrality being questioned repeatedly.

The strong observations of the bench gain significance in light of the fact that the chief justice of the Calcutta high court will on Tuesday pass verdict on security arrangements for polling scheduled for 14 May.

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