Calcutta high court on Wednesday directed the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) to inform on June 24 its stand on the Mamata Banerjee government’s request for supply of central armed police forces (CAPF) for panchayat polls.
The Union government’s advocate SS Sarkar said he would require at least two days before he could tell the court as to how much force the Centre could allocate. The high court has scheduled the next hearing on Monday.
Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi also directed the state to file an action taken report by June 21 on the State Election Commission directives for transfer of police officers and supply of adequate number of security forces. The directive came on a petition filed by SEC through advocate Amrita Pandey, complaining against the state’s failure to prove adequate numbers of security force and non-compliance of its directives for transfer of cops.
SEC counsel LC Bihani told the court that on June 10 the state had forwarded a copy of a letter dated June 4 issued by the MHA saying that due to already overstretched deployment of CAPF across the country it had not been found feasible to provide additional forces. The SEC has also sought a declaration that all the state officials to be deployed for panchayat polls would be treated as officers on deputation under the control and superintendence of the poll panel from the date of notification for polls.
State Advocate Paritosh Sinha and Advocate General Bimal Chatterjee assured the court that the SEC’s directives for transfer of cops would complied with.
In another case, Justice Sanjib Banerjee directed the SEC to submit an action taken report on June 20 on the petition filed by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress committee, complaining against its failure to take action against Trinamool Congress workers for preventing thousands of candidates from filing nominations.
According to SEC estimates more than 6,000 seats would go going uncontested as candidates of political parties either failed to file their nomination or withdrew them.