Calcutta High Court issues stay on panchayat polls in West Bengal.

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Johnson Cherian.
The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stalled the ongoing process of panchayat elections in West Bengal till further orders. Justice Subrata Talukdar also directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to provide details of the steps it has taken in regard to orders passed by the Supreme Court and the Calcutta High Court in connection to panchayat polls.
The Court also asked the SEC on what it has done to redress the grievances of those who have complained that they have not been able to file nomination papers for rural polls. The next date of hearing of the matter is on April 16 and till then the process of scrutiny of nomination papers will remain suspended.
Between April 9 and April 11 the Supreme Court and Calcutta High Court had issued a number of orders in relation to panchayat polls in the State.
The nomination for panachayat polls started on April 2 and last day for filing nominations was April 9. Candidates from Opposition parties raised allegations against the ruling party for unleashing terror and preventing their nominees from filing nomination paper.
On the evening of April 9, the SEC issued a notification to extend the deadline for filing nomination by a day. The decision was then subsequently reversed on April 10, following a petition from Trinamool Congress and the State government prompting the BJP to approach the Supreme Court and High Court.
Elections for the three tier panchayat polls across 20 districts of the State are scheduled in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5.

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