10th May, 2013, Kolkata: In a major blow to the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court has ruled that state government’s announcement of the panchayat election dates was illegal. Earlier, the West Bengal Government, headed by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, announced the panchayat election dates without coming to an agreement with the State Election Commission.
The state government earlier announced that the poll will be in two phases, but now the Calcutta High Court ordered a three phase panchayat election favoring the State Election Commission that had dragged the government to the court over this issue.
As per the State Panchayat Election Act 2003, the state government has the power to declare the panchayat poll dates only after due consultations with the State Election Commission. But, in this case, the court observed that the government announced the dates without consulting the dates.
Today, in its verdict, the Calcutta High Court has also asked the State Election Commission to propose three possible dates as well as the division of the districts to the state government within 24 hours.
The court also added that the State Election Commission is free to ask for central paramilitary forces for the election.