SC refuses to entertain PIL for free, fair assembly polls in West Bengal

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, while declining to entertain the PIL of one Puneet Kaur Dhanda, said it was open for her to take other remedy as permissible in law.

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre, the West Bengal government and the Election Commission to ensure “free, peaceful, safe and fair” assembly polls scheduled this year in the state.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, while declining to entertain the PIL of one Puneet Kaur Dhanda, said it was open for her to take other remedy as permissible in law. “You take other remedies available under the law,” said the bench which also comprised justices Hemant Gupta and R Subhash Reddy in the proceedings conducted through video conferencing.

The plea, filed through lawyer Vineet Dhanda, had sought several reliefs including a direction to the CBI to probe alleged killings of political activists and adversaries of the ruling All India Trinamool Congress Party in the state.

During the brief hearing, the lawyer said Rohingya voters from Telengana have got themselves registered as voters in West Bengal and “Hindu voters are not allowed to go out to vote in places where Muslims are in majority”. He also alleged BJP leaders, including its national President J P Nadda, were attacked in West Bengal.

“Free and fair elections is not possible in the state in such condition,” Dhanda urged, adding, “free and fair election is possible under the watchful eyes on the apex court”.

The public interest litigation (PIL) had made Union Ministry of Home Affairs, West Bengal government, the Election Commission, the state poll panel, the Director General of Police and CBI as parties. “The petitioner is seeking indulgence of this court as the continuous violation of fundamental rights, statutory rights and human rights in the state of West Bengal has reached its zenith and the state government and its police machinery is involved in such violations.

“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 said.

Referring to recent attack on the cavalcade of the BJP President n the state, the plea had also sought a direction to “Union Home Secretary and DGP, West Bengal to take strict action against errant senior officers involved in dereliction of duty in protection of the BJP’s National President”.

The PIL had alleged the fundamental rights such as right to life and personal liberty and equality and the statutory right to vote under the Representation of the people Act, 1951 of the citizens are being violated in the state. The plea alleged that in last few years, there have been incidents of “systematic killings of political leaders especially belonging to BJP”.

The ruling party has not done anything to stop the brutal violence against leaders of the BJP and other parties which are not in power in the state, it said. It had sought a direction to authorities to submit a detailed action taken report and the status in cases of killings of opposition party leaders especially before the top court.

It had sought a direction to state police to ensure safety of party workers belonging to opposition parties in West Bengal during canvassing, casting of votes and counting of ballots in assembly elections next year.

The plea had sought deployment of paramilitary forces in the state to ensure free and fair elections.

Source: Read Full Article