WB ask to clarify a word in DGP`s letter

Calcutta High Court directed West Bengal government to clarify meaning of word `CAPF` in letter written by DGP to Home Secretary on assessment of law and order for panchayat elections in state.

Updated: Apr 26, 2013, 21:59 PM IST

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the West Bengal government to clarify the meaning of the word `CAPF` in a letter written by the DGP to the Home Secretary on assessment of law and order for the panchayat elections in the state.
SEC counsel Samraditya Pal had last week, referring to the DGP`s letter claimed that the police official had himself said that CAPF may be used for the panchayat elections in the state.

While Pal had contended that by CAPF the DGP meant central armed police force, the government pleader claimed that it was the Calcutta Armed Police Force.

Justice Bishwanath Somadder directed the state government, embroiled in a legal battle with the State Election Commission over holding of panchayat elections, to clarify the meaning of CAPF written in the letter by the DGP on January 1 this year.

Submitting for the state, Advocate General Bimal Chatterjee opposed the SEC prayer for deployment of central forces.

He stated that the commission had been talking about ground realities, but not shown any evidence why it was absolutely necessary to deploy central forces in addition to state forces.

He claimed that the SEC had accused the state of not consulting it, but the commission could also be accused of not consulting the state on its demand for central forces.

"The state has said in unequivocal terms that it will
provide adequate forces for holding the rural polls and if required, forces will be brought from other states," the AG said.

"They should have posed trust on the state government on its assurances. Somebody may say that there is a hidden agenda and question the state`s impartiality," the AG claimed.

Stating that the SEC had cited Naxalite activities in junglemahal, Chatterjee claimed the SEC had no knowledge that such activities had almost ceased because of development activities taken up by the present government.

Chatterjee also opposed the demand of the SEC for holding the elections in four phases, claiming this was done without logic or reason.

Stating that till 2003, panchayat elections in the state were held in one phase, the AG submitted that only in 2008 the elections were held in more than one phase.

Claiming there was much more violence in the 2008 elections and anti-social elements could move from one area to the other during different phases, he submitted that taking lessons from these instances, the state government was in favour of a single phase election this time.

The matter would be taken up for hearing again on Tuesday.