SC stays Calcutta High Court order on West Bengal panchayat polls

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NEW DELHI, MAY 10,
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Calcutta High Court order asking the West Bengal State Election Commission to accept nomination papers filed through e-mail for contesting the panchayat elections.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra took note of the fact that almost 17,000 candidates have won the panchayat polls unopposed and directed the State poll panel not to declare them as winners.
The Bench, also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, asked the poll panel to ensure “free and fair” panchayat elections on May 14.
The apex court said the High Court’s direction and the fact that 34% of the candidates have won the election unopposed, “are worrying.”
On May 8, the High Court directed the poll panel to accept the nominations of those candidates named by the CPI(M) who had filed their papers electronically within the stipulated time before 3 p.m. on April 23.

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