SC quizzes poll panel on uncontested seats

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday asked the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) as to whether it conducted any probe into the fact that a large number of seats in the local body elections in the State went uncontested. Out of a total 58,692 posts for gram panchayat village, zilla parishad and panchayat samiti, 20,159 had remained uncontested in the violence-marred local polls held in May this year. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud told the State poll panel that the issue of huge number of uncontested seats has been bothering it. It asked the poll panel as to whether any inquiry was conducted in this regard. “It is your (poll panel) constitutional duty to conduct free and fair elections,” it said. Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the poll panel, said that 33% of nearly 50,000 panchayat seats going uncontested in the State was not “an alarming situation”. He cited U.P. where almost 57% panchayat seats went uncontested and the figure was 51%, 67% and 27.6% in Haryana, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh respectively. The hearing would continue on Tuesday.last_img

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