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Calcutta HC directs SEC to examine ground situation in municipalities going to polls, take call on paramilitary force deployment

A division bench said if the commissioner decides against deploying paramilitary forces, then he will be personally liable to ensure that violence-free and fair elections take place.

Published: 23rd February 2022 02:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2022 02:09 PM   |  A+A-

Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court (File Photo| PTI)

By PTI

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court Wednesday directed the State Election Commissioner to examine the ground situation in each of the 108 West Bengal municipalities going to polls on February 27, and take a decision on deployment of paramilitary forces.

A division bench presided by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava, hearing petitions including one by a state BJP leader, said if the commissioner decides against deploying paramilitary forces, then he will be personally liable to ensure that violence-free and fair elections take place.

Directing the commissioner of the SEC to collect information on conditions prevailing in municipalities where polls are scheduled, the bench, also comprising Justice R Bharadwaj, asked him to hold a joint meeting with the home secretary and the DGP within 24 hours.

The court asked the commissioner to take a decision in writing "by mentioning the relevant circumstances in support of his decision to deploy/not to deploy the paramilitary forces," in each of the 108 municipalities.

Praying for direction to the SEC to deploy paramilitary forces for the February 27 polls, the petitioners had alleged that a state of terror is prevailing and in almost 10 per cent of the municipalities going for polls, ruling Trinamool Congress candidates have won uncontested as nominations were not allowed to be filed by other candidates.



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