Calcutta HC stays EC order on local polls

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NEW DELHI, APR 11,
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday stayed an order of the State Election Commission [SEC] recalling its previous one extending the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls.
The High Court directive came on a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties staged a protest outside the SEC office and the constitutional analysts described it as an “unparalleled situation.”
Panchayat polls in Bengal are scheduled to be held in the first week of May. The SEC had recalled its order issued on Monday night, extending the “last date for filing nomination for one day” till Tuesday afternoon.
In the new order revoking its earlier decision, the SEC argued that “there was no specific direction by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for extension of the nomination date.” While TMC MP and lawyer Kalyan Bandopadhyay claimed in his mail, that the SEC violated procedures mentioned in Section 46/2 of the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, the section has clearly stated that the SEC may “extend the last date for filing nomination for one day.”
Meanwhile the nomination papers filed for the three-tier village council polls in the State indicate that the Opposition has failed to put up candidates in thousands of seats.

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