On Tuesday, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court refused to interfere with the schedule of the byelection for the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. The byelection is scheduled to start on Thursday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from the seat against the BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal and the Left Front’s Srijib Biswas.
“As the process of election was initiated with the issuance of press note dated September 04, 2021 and the polling has to be held on September 30, 2021, we do not find it appropriate to interfere with the decision of the Commission to hold byelection to Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency at this stage,” the order by the Bench said.
The court recorded its “strong reservation about the conduct of the Chief Secretary in writing a letter to the Election Commission stating that there would be ‘constitutional crisis’ in case byelection to the Bhabanipur constituency is not held”.
“He is a public servant, who is to discharge his duties in terms of provisions of law, whosoever may be in power. He is not to ensure that any particular person should come in power and in the absence, there would be ‘constitutional crisis’,” the court further added.
On 4 September, a petition was filed to the court against the notification issued by the ECI for holding the byelection.
The court also added that it did not “record any finding on the issue that an election petition may or may not be maintainable after the result of the Assembly election is declared. Any of the losing party shall have the right to avail of his/her appropriate remedy to challenge the election on the grounds available in law”.
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