Consider postponing civic elections amid Covid surge: Calcutta HC to SEC

In an order dated January 13, 2022, the division bench of chief justice Prakash Shrivastava and justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee also directed the state poll body to clear its stand within 48 hours.
New Market in Kolkata saw a reduced footfall amid concern over spread of Covid-19 on Friday. The Calcutta HC on Friday directed the West Bengal election commission to consider postponing the January 22 civic polls. (PTI)
New Market in Kolkata saw a reduced footfall amid concern over spread of Covid-19 on Friday. The Calcutta HC on Friday directed the West Bengal election commission to consider postponing the January 22 civic polls. (PTI)
Updated on Jan 15, 2022 07:27 AM IST
Copy Link
ByHT Correspondent, Kolkata

The Calcutta high court on Friday directed the West Bengal election commission to consider postponing the January 22 civic elections by four to six weeks in view of a surge in Covid-19 cases across the state.

In an order dated January 13, 2022, the division bench of chief justice Prakash Shrivastava and justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee also directed the state poll body to clear its stand within 48 hours.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by one Bimal Bhattacharya, seeking postponement of the polls.

The court also observed that the SEC should also consider whether it is possible to hold free and fair polls in a peaceful manner in such a situation.

“Hence, we dispose of the present petition with a direction to the state election commission to consider the galloping speed with which the Covid-19 cases are increasing and also to take into account the issue if holding of elections in such a situation will be in the public interest and if free and fair elections will be possible on the dates notified, and take a decision in respect of the postponement of the date of elections of four municipal corporations for a short period of four to six weeks,” the court said.

Earlier, the state election commission had announced that elections to the Bidhannagar, Chandannagar, Siliguri and Asansol municipal corporations will be held on January 22. Bidhannagar falls in North 24 Parganas district.

Bengal on Friday reported 22,645 new Covid-19 cases -- 822 less than the previous day -- which pushed the tally to 1,863,697, the health department said in its bulletin on Friday.

On January 14, HT had reported that the state became the first region in the country where the Covid-19 wave, or average daily cases, has surpassed the peak of the brutal second wave.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, January 23, 2022