NGO moves SC for keeping West Bengal panchayat polls free of Ramzan

Last Updated: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 21:23

New Delhi/West Bengal: An NGO on Monday approached Supreme Court seeking re-scheduling of panchayat polls in West Bengal to keep it free from the period of Ramzan, which is likely to start from July 10.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir agreed to the plea of the NGO, Progressive Youth Foundation, for listing the matter tomorrow.

The matter will be heard by the same bench which on June 28 had rescheduled the dates of West Bengal panchayat elections and directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct the exercise in five phases starting July 11.

Originally, the polls were slated to commence from July 2 in three phases.
Aggrieved by the June 28 order, the NGO through senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the court should consider the plea as there is a considerable population of Muslims who have to participate in the polls.

Prior to mentioning the matter before the bench of CJI, the NGO had rushed to the bench of Justice AK Patnaik who said the matter was already disposed of on June 28 and has to be freshly listed on orders of the CJI.

On June 28, a bench of justices AK Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi directed that the election will be held on July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25.

The apex court had also directed the state government to provide on an average 35,000 security personnel for each phase of the election and the rest of the requirement of security forces will be provided by the Centre.

The apex court had passed the order on a petition filed by the SEC which had approached it seeking directions to the state and the Centre to provide adequate security personnel for the election.

The election body had contended it was not possible to hold violence-free polls in the prevailing circumstances as enough security personnel were not available.


First Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 21:23

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