Bengal local polls; SC to hear plea seeking deployment of paramilitary forcestext_fields
BJP leaders on Thursday urged the SC to hear their appeal challenging a decision of the Calcutta HC to direct the election commissioner to take a call on deployment of paramilitary forces after studying each of the 108 West Bengal municipalities going to polls on February 27.
After hearing brief arguments from senior advocate P S Patwalia who mentioned the case before the Chief Justice and asked for an urgent hearing because the high court had left the decision up to the SEC, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana agreed to schedule the case for tomorrow on Feb 25.
According to the bench, which also included Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli: "We are now addressing the issue of governance. This is for the election commission to decide".
As elections are scheduled for Sunday, Patwalia urged a hearing on Friday for BJP leaders Mousumi Roy and Pratap Banerjee.
During the hearing of the issue related to Tripura municipal elections, a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud passed orders regarding the deployment of central forces, he reminded.
As noted by the high court, if the commissioner decides against the deployment of paramilitary forces, he will be personally responsible for ensuring violence-free and fair elections.
A petition by the BJP seeking a directive to state election administrators, the West Bengal government, and other officials to organize a free and fair municipal election in Kolkata was rejected last year by the Supreme Court.