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Constitutional obligations of state don't get vested in Election Commission during polls: Calcutta HC

ANI | Updated: Aug 19, 2021 21:00 IST


New Delhi [India], August 19 (ANI): The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal and stated that Constitutional obligations of the state do not get vested in the Election Commission during the process of elections.
"Civil or police administration is under the control of the Election Commission during the process of elections only to ensure free and fair elections. That does not mean that the police stop discharging its normal duties to control law and order," the High court said about the ECI's role.
The High Court observed that arguments run contrary to the stand of the State where it claimed that number of FIRs were registered up to May 03, 2021, for post-poll violence and otherwise also for normal crime in the state the police was duty-bound to maintain law and order and register FIRs and not the Election Commission.

"The State cannot be allowed to blow hot and cold at the same breath. There is nothing placed on record by the state that even normal law and order, and registration of criminal cases comes within the purview of EC," High Court ruled.
On July 15, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team probing the alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal had submitted its final report to Calcutta High Court.
The NHRC in its report on the alleged post-election violence in West Bengal submitted to Calcutta High Court that "Spatio-temporal expanse of violent incidents in the state reflects appalling apathy of the state government towards the plight of victims".
In the report, the committee said, "This was retributive violence by supporters of the ruling party against supporters of the main Opposition party. It resulted in disruption of life and livelihood of thousands of people and their economic strangulation."
Several incidents of violence were reported at various places after the announcement of the Assembly poll results on May 2, after which a four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas. (ANI)

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