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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court has concluded the hearing into the alleged irregularities in the conduct of Panchayat poll process in Bengal and will give out the verdict tomorrow.

Justice Subrata Talukdar of the High Court was hearing the matter for the past three days after the opposition parties filed multiple petitions seeking the court’s intervention.

The petitions were filed alleging that ruling Trinamool stopped opposition candidates from filing nominations to contest the polls and the State Election Commission (SEC) has failed to play its Constitutional role.

During the hearing at the HC today morning, Trinamool counsel Kalyan Banerjee, CPI-M’s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, BJP’s Pratap Banerjee, PDS’ Samir Pututundu, and Adhir Ranjan Choudhury of the Congress took part.

Kalyan Banerjee pleaded that the High Court cannot intervene once the poll process has been kick started and a violation of this will amount to infringing upon the SEC’s Constitutional authority.

Countering this, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said that during the 2103 Panchayat polls in Bengal, Supreme Court had rejected the state government’s plea for a three-phase election and had ordered a five-phase poll with the deployment of Central forces. Hence, the court can intervene in the matter to ensure a free and fair election.

Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said that the SEC has failed to live up to its Constitutional mandate and is acting like a puppet of the state government. Given this, it is the court which can ensure that the democratic rights of the people are not upheld.

After hearing the argument and counter-argument, justice Talukdar announced that the hearing is over and he will spell out the verdict at 4.30 pm tomorrow. Till then the stay on the Panchayat poll process, which he had granted on 12 April, will continue.

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