Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Calcutta HC questions SEC on action taken over violation of conduct rules

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hirnamay Bhattacharya on Thursday questioned the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) on action taken in relation to the violation of the model code of conduct after the state government initiated a mass outreach programme christened ‘Sorasori Mukhyomontri’ (chief minister directly) through which the common people can directly convey their grievances to the chief minister.

The division bench has sought a reply from the commission on the allegations that the same number is being used that was used in a similar programme introduced before the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls christened ‘Didike bolo’ (Tell the chief minister).

In a petition, the leader of the opposition also alleged that while the model code of conduct is applicable in the state currently in wake of the forthcoming rural civic body polls, such a state government initiative during that period was a clear violation..

The division bench was hearing a PIL filed by the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, where the latter had questioned that while ‘Didike bolo’ was a political campaign programme, how can the same number be used in case of ‘Sorasori Mukhyomontri’, which is an administrative initiative.

The division bench has directed the commission to submit its reply in the second half of the court session on Thursday only following which the matter will be heard again.

Adhikari had originally filed the petition at Calcutta High Court’s single- judge bench of Justice Amrita Sinha on Tuesday. But Justice Sinha refused to admit that petition and instead advised the leader of the opposition to approach the division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya in the matter. Accordingly, on Wednesday, Adhikari approached the division bench.

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