calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court | While hearing series of contempt applications, a Division bench comprising of TS Sivagnanam, CJ., and Uday Kumar, J., directed the extension of deployment of Central Forces in the State of West Bengal for a period of ten days from the date on which the results of the elections are declared, after taking into account the apprehension of the petitioners regarding the post-poll violence which appears genuine.

In the instant matter, the petitioners, BJP's leader Suvendu Adhikari and Congress' leader Adhir Ranhjan Chaudhary, preferred a contempt petition against the inaction of the State of West Bengal and West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) in implementing the High Court's order dated 13-06-2023 and 15-06-2023. The High Court vide order dated 13-06-2023, directed the SEC for requisition of paramilitary force in areas where violence is anticipated to ensure the safety and security of the lives of the polling personnel and polling officers. The High Court vide order dated 15-06-202, directed the SEC to requisition the deployment of Central Forces for all Districts in the State of West Bengal within 48 hours (about 2 days) of the order.

The Court observed that “it is not in dispute that there were large scale post poll violence soon after the earlier Panchayat Election as well as the election of the Legislative Assembly.” The Court further observed that though it is not right to presume that such violence will occur soon after the upcoming elections but the “apprehension in the minds of the applicant cannot be brushed aside.” The Court observed that the electorate are required to be protected because if any violence is erupted after the declaration of election results, the public is the one who gets affected.

The Court held that the “Central Forces shall continue to remain in the State of West Bengal for a period of ten days from the date on which the results are declared” and directed the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to issue necessary orders and instructions to the Inspector General, BSF.

The Court fixed the next date of the hearing on 11-07-2023 at 4 p.m.

[Suvendu Adhikari v. Rajiva Sinha, 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 1839, order dated 06-07-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Guru Krishna Kumar, ld. Senior Advocate, Mr. Soumya Majumder, Mr. Srijib Chakraborty, Mr. Kabir Shankar Bose, Mr. Anish Kumar Mukherjee, Mr. Suryaneel Das, Mr. Chiranjit Pal, Counsel for the Petitioner in CPAN 831 of 2023

Mr. Subir Sanyal, Mr. Lokenath Chatterjee, Mr. Sukanta Ghosh, Mr. Jasojeet Mukherjee, Mr. Apurba Ghosh, Mr. Arghya Chatterjee, Mr. Anindya Ghosh, Mr. Indranil Bose, Counsel .for the Petitioners in CPAN 905 of 2023 and CPAN 907 of 2023

Mr. Ritzu Ghosal, Mr. Mrityunjoy Chatterjee, Counsel for the Petitioner in CPAN 841 of 2023

Mr. Protip Chatterjee, Mr. Mrityunjoy Chatterjee, Counsel for the Petitioner in WPA(P) 286 of 2023

Mr. Jishnu Saha, ld. Senior Advocate, Mr. Kishore Datta, ld. Senior Advocate, Ms. Sonal Sinha, Ms. Sumita Shaw, Mr. Tarun Kr. Chatterjee, Mr. Sujit Gupta, Mr. Sayan Datta, Mr. Soumen Chatterjee, Counsel for the State Election Commission.

Mr. Ashoke Kumar Chakrabarti, learned ASG, Mr. Billwadal Bhattacharyya, learned DSGI, Mr. Ayanabha Raha, Counsel for the Union of India.

Mr. Sirsanya Bandopadhyay, Mr. Arka Kumar Nag, Counsel for the State.

Mr. Anindya Bose, Counsel for Intervenor in CPAN 841 of 2023

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