Friday, June 28, 2013

Supreme Court sets dates for Bengal panchayat elections

Supreme Court sets dates for Bengal panchayat elections

New Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday rescheduled the dates of the West Bengal panchayat elections and directed the State Election Commission to conduct the exercise in five phases starting July 11.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi directed the election will be held on July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25. The poll was was earlier scheduled to be held in three phases from July 2.

The apex court directed the state government to provide on an average 35,000 security personnel for each phase of the election and said the Centre would provide the rest.

"We have now rescheduled the election from July 11 to 25 to be held in five phases", the bench said adding that "all other consequential notifications are to be done by the concerned authorities as per the order".

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the state election commission, which had approached the apex court seeking its direction to the state and the Centre to provide adequae security personnel for the election.

The election body contended it was not possible to hold violence-free polls in the prevailing circumstances as enough security personnel were not available.

On July 26, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the Centre and West Bengal government seeking their responses to how to meet the requirement of security personnel for conduct of the panchayat elections in the state.

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