January 20, 2022

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Consider postponing civic elections, says Calcutta HC

Consider postponing civic elections, says Calcutta HC


The elections to civic bodies in Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri, and Chandannagar are scheduled on January 22

KOLKATA: Amid rising Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, the Calcutta high court on Friday directed the State Election Commission to consider postponing civic elections by four to six weeks and to take a decision in this regard within 48 hours.

“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.

The elections to civic bodies in Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri, and Chandannagar are scheduled on January 22.

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One Bimal Bhattacharya moved the court citing the Covid-19 situation and sought the postponement of the polls.

West Bengal reported 23,467 Covid-19 infections on Thursday taking the number of active cases to over 15,300. The positivity rate in the state was 32.1%.

On Thursday, the state government told the court that once the election dates were announced, it has no role and the poll watchdog could defer the polls. The watchdog informed the court it does not have the power to defer the election dates once the dates have been notified unless the state government declares an emergency.

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