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Calcutta HC Refuses To Stay Bhabanipur Bypoll To Be Contested by Mamata Banerjee

·2-min read

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, 28 September, dismissed a petition to stay the Bhabanipur by-election, which is scheduled for 30 September. The polls will now be held as scheduled.

The court on Tuesday refused to stay the decision of the Election Commission to conduct the by-election on priority.

The order on Tuesday came in response to a PIL, in which petitioner Sayan Banerjee had challenged the decision of the EC to prioritise the by-election in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency.

The petition contested that the priority to hold the by-elections amidst COVID-19 pandemic is based on unreasonable, mala fide and undue influence caused by an unelected chief minister to interfere with the free and fair democratic process of elections, LiveLaw reported.

Also Read: Centre Denies Mamata Banerjee Permission To Attend Peace Conference in Rome

The EC had said in a press note that the decision to hold the poll came after "considering the constitutional exigency and special request from State of West Bengal". In light of this, the petitioner had stated that the poll body should not be doing so, and asked the court to step in, reported NDTV.

Though the bench passed some adverse comments against the Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government for writing to expedite the Bhabanipur bypoll, the court dismissed the petition.

Mamata Banerjee is contesting the polls and needs to win and become an MLA in order to remain the chief minister of West Bengal.

The bench will hear on 9 November the issue of whether the public should bear the cost of the by-elections since it will be conducted due to the resignation of an elected candidate, who resigned for Mamata Banerjee to fight the election after losing from the Nandigram seat in May this year.

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