The Calcutta High Court on Thursday has reserved its order on the review petition filed by the West Bengal State Election Commission against an earlier order by a division bench regarding deployment of central armed forces in seven sensitive districts during the forthcoming panchayat polls.
During the prolonged hearing in the matter by a division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya, the Chief Justice expressed ire over the lack of necessary security arrangements resulting in continuing clashes and violence in different pockets in West Bengal during the nomination phase.
At one point of time, he even warned of passing an order for deployment of central armed forces throughout the state for the rural civic body polls. He expressed ire when counsel of the commission informed the court that the commission is yet to identify the sensitive booths in the state.
The state government's counsel and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Kalyan Bandopadhyay urged the court not to pass any order that will benefit some political parties.
"We have arranged for police from other states. We have requested the state governments of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab and Tamil Nadu to send their forces to the state for the panchayat polls. There is no guarantee that deployment of central forces will be enough to infuse confidence in people," Bandopadhyay said.
Chief Justice Sivagnanam also advised the counsel of the state government and the commission that if they are not satisfied with the earlier order on deployment of central armed forces, they have the right to approach a higher court on this count.
"You have the scope for appearing at a higher court. But if you create a situation so that my order is not implemented I cannot just remain silent. Section 144 has been implemented at different places. The police should strictly enforce that," he said.
Finally, after hearing all sides, the division bench reserved its order.
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