New Delhi: Amid a bitter battle of politics in West Bengal, the Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea asking the Centre, the state government and the Election Commission to ensure “free, peaceful, safe and fair” Assembly elections scheduled later this year. This comes at a time when chants of “Jai Shri Ram” were heard at a poll rally of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read - Prove Corruption Charges or Face Criminal Defamation Suit, Narayanasamy Hits Back at Amit Shah
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, along with justices Hemant Gupta and R Subhash Reddy, while declining to entertain the PIL of one Puneet Kaur Dhanda, said it was open for her to take “other remedies available under the law”. The top court bench was hearing the petition through video conferencing. Also Read - Alliance on Cards? Mamata, Tejashwi Meet in Bengal Amid Speculation of TMC-RJD Tie up
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. Also Read - West Bengal Assembly Election 2021: Check Voting Date In Your Constituency
During the brief hearing, the lawyer said Rohingya voters from Telangana 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 JP Nadda, were attacked in West Bengal.
“Free and fair elections are 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 the 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 the 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 are 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.
The plea alleged that in the last few years, there have been incidents of “systematic killings of political leaders especially belonging to BJP”. It had sought a direction to authorities to submit a detailed action is taken report and the status in cases of killings of opposition party leaders, especially before the top court.
It further sought a direction to state police to ensure the 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 also sought deployment of paramilitary forces in the state to ensure free and fair elections.
With PTI inputs