Calcutta High Court: While deciding a writ petition seeking Court’s intervention on scheduled election of the Sthayee Samity, Raniganagar-II Panchayat Samity due to alleged illegal activities by members of the ruling dispensation and their influence over the Prescribed Authority responsible for conducting the meeting, a single-judge bench comprising of Amrita Sinha, J., directed the Prescribed Authority and the Sub-Divisional Officer to postpone the scheduled election.
In the instant matter, the petitioners, comprising of thirteen members of the Sthayee Samity, Raniganagar-II Panchayat Samity, filed a writ petition with leave from the Court in the first session for urgent consideration in response to the scheduled election meeting to be held on 11-09-2023 at 12 noon. The petitioners seek the Court’s intervention due to alleged illegal activities by members of the ruling dispensation and their influence over the Prescribed Authority responsible for conducting the meeting.
It was contended that the Panchayat Samity comprise of 42 members and the Sabhapati (Chairperson) is in custody due to a false criminal case and 6 other members are named in an FIR and are currently evading arrest. It was further contended that the Pradhan (Village Head) is also on the run, fearing arrest. The petitioners claimed that it will be practically impossible for all members to attend the election meeting due to these circumstances.
The petitioners contended that the ruling dispensation is accused of creating an atmosphere of terror and hooliganism to deter opposition members from attending the meeting. It was contended that the FIR-named individuals are reportedly pursuing legal remedies to enable their participation in the election.
The petitioners request the Court to postpone the election for the day and set a separate date for the election.
In light of the above-mentioned circumstances, the Court instructed the Prescribed Authority and the Sub-Divisional Officer, Domkol, to not proceed with the scheduled election. If the election has already taken place, its results should not be enforced until 20-09-2023, or until further orders, whichever comes earlier.
The case is scheduled to appear on the list on 14-09-2023, under the heading “Urgent Motion.”
[Ruhul v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2691, order dated 11-09-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Pratip Chatterjee, Mr. Mritunjay Chatterjee, Mr. Debapriya Majuder, Counsel for the Petitioners
Mr. Santanu Kumar Mitra, Mr. Amartya Pal, Counsel for the Respondent/State