The Calcutta High Court has asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to explore the possibility of postponing the civic polls to four municipal corporations by four to six weeks in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in West Bengal.

In an order dated January 13, 2022, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee also directed the SEC to take a decision within 48 hours.

In response to a PIL, the Bench observed that the SEC has to keep in mind the surge in COVID-19 infections in the state, adding that there has been a massive spread of the coronavirus in places like Chandannagar town and North 24 Parganas district.

Earlier, the SEC had announced that elections to the Bidhannagar, Chandannagar, Siliguri and Asansol municipal corporations will be held on January 22. Bidhannagar falls in North 24 Parganas district.

The Court also observed that the SEC should also consider whether it is possible to hold free and fair polls in a peaceful manner in such a situation.

It said that the SEC has enough powers to decide on postponing the polls and the need to consult with any other body in this regard.

With PTI inputs