Press Esc to close
Saturday 21 January 2017
News updated at 4:09 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28.9°C
Min : 15.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

SC refuses to rejig Bengal panchayat poll dates

New Delhi, July 2, 2013, (IANS):
File photo.
The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to modify its order for holding the West Bengal panchayat polls in five phases from July 11 and dismissed a batch of pleas seeking fresh dates in view of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the court could not reschedule the elections owing to constitutional mandate and unavailability of security forces before July 11.

Holding that it was sensitive to the rights of one-third of the state's Muslim population, the court said the mandate of the constitution could not be disregarded.

Dismissing the plea that holding the polls in the month of Ramadan could adversely affect the participation of Muslims, the court said it weighed all these options before passing its June 28 order for holding the five-phase polls from July 11.

The judges said on the request of the West Bengal government they considered the options of advancing or postponing the elections.

The court asked the state government to issue notification on the elections in pursuance to its order.

"We could not direct the start of the elections before July 11, as central government said that it could spare security forces because of their current deployment in other parts of the country and in flood devastated Uttarakhand," the court said.

The judges said they "could not direct the holding of the elections after Aug 9" due to the mandate of constitutional provisions related with the tenure of panchayats.

"Should we violate and bypass the constitution?" Justice Patnaik asked senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for one of the petitioners, Progressive Youth Foundation.
Observing that the elections to panchayat in West Bengal should have been over long ago, the court asked: "should we violate the constitution because of Ramazan period or should we hold elections (before the commencement of Ramadan) without central forces?"

Rohtagi contended that just because the period for holding the panchayat elections was over, the rights of the one-third of the population could not be disregarded.

He said let there be no perception that no one was bothered about the one-third of the population.

Rohtagi's suggestion to hold two phases of panchayat elections in Muslim-dominated areas before July 11 ran into security hiccups.

Additional Solicitor General Rakesh Khanna told the court that security forces would reach West Bengal July 8, and would require two days to spread out within the state.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
American citizens attend a vigil for democracy and to pay a tribute to former U.S. President...

American citizens attend a vigil for democracy and to pay a tribute to former U.S. President...

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with President-elect Donald Trump...

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with President-elect Donald Trump...

Barron Trump and Eric Trump arrive for inauguration ceremonies...

Barron Trump and Eric Trump arrive for inauguration ceremonies...

President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump after walking...

President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump after walking...

Incoming VP Pence, President-elect Trump, outgoing President Obama and outgoing VP Biden...

Incoming VP Pence, President-elect Trump, outgoing President Obama and outgoing VP Biden...

Army officers stand on Indian Army's Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher system...

Army officers stand on Indian Army's Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher system...

75,000 people gather for a mass protest to support Jallikattu in Coimbatore...

75,000 people gather for a mass protest to support Jallikattu in Coimbatore...

Students of an art school apply finishing touches to a portrait of President elect Donald Trump...

Students of an art school apply finishing touches to a portrait of President elect Donald Trump...

A worker removes snow from the roof of a hotel on a sunny day in Gulmarg, west of Srinagar...

A worker removes snow from the roof of a hotel on a sunny day in Gulmarg, west of Srinagar...

President Pranab Mukherjee with West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi, Chief Minister...

President Pranab Mukherjee with West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi, Chief Minister...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523