Thursday, July 18, 2024

Calcutta HC rejects NHRC’s plea for appointing observer for panchayat polls

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday rejected the National Human Right Commission (NHRC)’s plea for appointing an observer for July 8 West Bengal panchayat polls.

Although the hearing in the matter was concluded on Tuesday afternoon only, the division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya then reserved the order for the day.

On Wednesday, while rejecting the apex right body’s petitions, it accepted the counter-argument that barring the Election Eommission no other entity can interfere in the process of elections.

On June 11, the NHRC announced the appointment of its Director General, Investigation, Damodar Sarangi as an independent observer for the West Bengal panchayat polls and a communication was forwarded to the State Election Commission and the state Secretariat on the same day.

The NHRC had taken suo motu cognisance of the reports of violence during the nomination phase.

However, the State Election Commission opposed the move by the NHRC in the Calcutta High Court.

On June 23, a single judge bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya rejected the NHRC’s proposal to appoint an independent observer. The NHRC then challenged the decision of the single-judge at the division bench, which too rejected the plea.

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