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Supreme Court rejects plea seeking directions to Centre, state & EC for free and fair assembly elections in West Bengal

Anushka Mansharamani

The Supreme Court of India declined to entertain the plea filed through lawyer Vineet Dhanda to ask the Election Commission, the Central and state government to ensure “free, peaceful, safe and fair” Assembly elections which are scheduled in 2021 in West Bengal.

A bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice R Subhash Reddy and headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan while refuting the PIL stated that it was open for Puneet Kaur Dhanda to take “other remedies available under the law.”

The plea sought relief inclusive of a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the alleged killing of political activists and adversaries of the ruling All India Trinamool Congress Party in the state.

The lawyers stated that Rohingya voters from Telangana had registered as voters in West Bengal and further stated that Hindu voters were not allowed to go out to vote in places where Muslims were a majority.

Vineet Dhanda urged the Apex Court to take the matter up as according to him “free and fair election is possible under the watchful eyes on the apex court.”’

The petitioner sought involvement of the court due to the continuous infringement of the fundamental rights, statutory rights and human rights that were taking place in West Bengal.

The plea explicitly stated, “No steps to prevent such violation of fundamental, statutory and human rights is being taken by the state government rather it is the state government and its machinery which is responsible for such brutal violation of rights in the State of West Bengal.”

The plea alleged that several incidents of killing of the political leaders belonging to the BJP party had taken place and thereby sought direction to the concerned authorities to submit detailed reports of the individuals killed.

It further sought direction for the state police to ensure safety of the people belonging to the opposition parties during the whole process of the assembly elections.

Lastly the plea also sought the presence of the paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair elections.