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Bengal panchayat poll: HC division bench refuses to interfere with stay

Kolkata, April 17: A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday refused to interfere with a single bench order staying the West Bengal Panchayat election process, but asked the judge to hear the case on “fast track”.
As speculations on the possibility of the elections getting deferred did rounds, an angry Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the CPI-M, Congress and the BJP – all who welcomed the order – of joining hands to “deliberately delay” the polls. Disposing off an appeal filed by the ruling Trinamool Congress and the State Election Commission against the stay, the bench of Justice Biswanath Samaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee said it did not want to interfere with the case at this stage as it was already pending before the single bench.
The two judges returned the matter to the single bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar and asked it to hear the case on the fast track.
The matter will now be heard by the single judge bench at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Hitting out at the opposition, Banerjee said: “CPI-M, Congress and BJP are three brothers. They play one kind of role here and another kind of role in Delhi. Election is a democratic right. If they really believe in the people, why are they shying away from the election and trying to deliberately defer the polls by rising various political questions?”
She refused to comment on the court decision, but claimed government work was suffering due to the unwanted delay in the polling process.
Earlier in the day, Justice Talukdar extended by a day, till Tuesday, its stay on the election process, as the matter was slated to come up in the division bench later following the appeal moved by the Trinamool and the SEC. IANS