New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) The Supreme Court today said it will pass orders on April 9 on the BJP West Bengal unit’s plea alleging that its candidates are not being allowed to file their nomination papers for the panchayat polls next month.

In its plea, BJP sought an extension of the last date of nomination, which is April 9, and online availability of nomination papers.

A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre said, “We are reserving verdict for April 9.” During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the West Bengal unit of the BJP, said democracy is being murdered in the state as candidates are not being allowed to file their nomination papers and there is large-scale violence.

The West Bengal panchayat elections are scheduled to be held on May 1, 3, and 5 and the votes are to be counted on May 8. According to the notification, the last date of filing nominations is April 9 and the last date of scrutiny of the nominations is April 11.

The plea alleged that block development officers, appointed as assistant panchayat electoral registration officers by the West Bengal State Election Commission, are refusing to give nomination forms to BJP candidates.

The West Bengal State Election Commission is the authority tasked with superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to panchayats and municipalities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.