State Police Will Provide Security For Kolkata Civic Polls- Calcutta HC Declines Prayer Of BJP For Central Forces
The Calcutta High Court today held that state police forces will provide security for Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections, rejecting a prayer by the Bengal BJP for deployment of central forces.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha directed that the commissioner of Kolkata Police will take care of all complaints by candidates or others during the election process.
The state unit of the BJP had on December 14 filed a petition before the High Court, seeking deployment of central forces for Kolkata civic polls, expressing apprehensions that its candidates and workers might be subjected to threats and attacks.
The party had earlier moved Supreme Court with the prayer, but was asked by it to approach the High Court.
A Bench comprising of Justice L Nagesara Rao and Justice B R Gavai asked the state BJP to withdraw the plea and move the Calcutta High Court with its grievances and relief that more central forces be deployed for smooth and fair conducted of the civic polls in the state capital on December 19.
Following the notification of the civic polls and the BJP finalising its list of candidates, the party's nominees have been threatened and pressured, Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, who appeared for the West Bengal BJP before the Supreme Court had said. He also said that though complaints have been lodged, no FIR has been registered, so far, by the state police.
"Why 32 (under Article 32 of the Constitution, a petition is filed directly in the Supreme Court)", the Bench asked, adding that a petition should have been filed in the High Court, which is more aware about the security and other local aspects.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court on November 25 had directed the Union home ministry to provide two additional companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to secure polling booths during the Tripura Municipal Polls after opposition TMC and CPI (M) alleged that their candidates and supporters were not being allowed to cast their votes.
With PTI inputs