Calcutta HC raps state for ‘arbitrary’ function

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • |
  • Updated: Jun 28, 2013 10:01 IST

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday rapped the Mamata Banerjee government for irrationally appointing teaching staff and professors for conducting the forthcoming panchayat elections.

Justice Sanjib Banerjee censured the state while dealing with a batch of petitions filed by Naba Gopal Roy and 40 other teaching staff and assistant professors of Sidhu Kanu Birsha University at Purulia, challenging their appointment for panchayat poll duties on July 2.

Petitioners’ advocate DN Roy told the court that according to the election commission guidelines, no teaching staff or professor of any college of university could be appointed for conducting polls. “But the state appointed the petitioners for rural poll duties without any basis and forwarded their names to the state election commission,” Roy said.

Before moving the court, the petitioners had complained to the state election commission (SEC), but no action was taken. Opposing the petition, the state advocate argued that the court could not cancel the appointment when polls have been scheduled on July 2.

Rejecting this, the judge said: “This is completely arbitrary functioning of the state government. There is no rationality of such recruitment of teaching staff and professors for poll duties. The court has the power to quash such arbitrary appointment even at the last moment.”

The judge, however, refused to interfere in such recruitment on the ground that the petitioners have moved the court at the last moment when the smooth conduct of the rural poll might me disrupted due to their last moment withdrawal from poll duties. The judge was of the view that due to paucity of time the petitioners should accept such recruitment for pollduties, but they may move the court afresh if the polls were deferred.

 

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