Kolkata: Holding that the State Election Commission (SEC) has the primacy in fixing the dates of polls, the Calcutta High Court today struck down West Bengal government's decision to withold elections to seven civic bodies and ordered that the same be held within two months.
Hearing a PIL on whether the state administration or the EC has the primacy in holding elections, a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Joymalya Bagchi ruled in favour of the SEC.
If the SEC has consulted the state government before fixing a date, then such an election cannot be held unconstitutional, the bench observed.It stated that the entire process of witholding the elections to civic bodies of Raniganj, Jamuria, Asansol, Kulti, Bidhananagar, Rajarhat-Gopalpur and Bally, was illegal. The court ordered the government to start the election process in these seven civic bodies immediately and complete it within two months.
Altogether 91 civic bodies in the state are scheduled to go to polls on April 25, while the Calcutta Municipal Corporation polls would be held on April 18.
The PIL has challenged the manner in which the dates for civic polls have been announced this year when a case on whether the state administration or the Election Commission has the primacy in holding elections, is pending since July 2013.