10 Aug 2023 4:01 PM GMT
Ahead of the formation of ‘panchayat boards’ pursuant to the declaration of results in the West Bengal Panchayat Elections 2023, the Calcutta High Court has issued a spathe of directions for police protection to the winning candidates during the process to be held on the 11th August (Tomorrow).One such petition was filed by victorious candidates belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party...
Ahead of the formation of ‘panchayat boards’ pursuant to the declaration of results in the West Bengal Panchayat Elections 2023, the Calcutta High Court has issued a spathe of directions for police protection to the winning candidates during the process to be held on the 11th August (Tomorrow).
One such petition was filed by victorious candidates belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from the district of Paschim Mednipur apprehending violence by “miscreants belonging to the ruling dispensation.”
In allowing the prayer for police protection as sought in the writ petition, a single-bench of Justice Jay Sengupta held:
“It appears that on the basis of the petitioners’ complaint some steps have been taken. The petitioners are the winning candidates of Bandipur – I Gram Panchayet. The board formation process would take place at the Bandipur – I Gram Panchayet office on August 11, 2023 at 11.00 A.M. It further appears that the petitioners apprehend that the local miscreants may not allow the petitioner to participate in the said meeting. In view of the above and in the interest of justice, let the petitioners report to the Officer-in-Charge, Chandrakona Police Station on August 11, 2023 at 09.00 A.M. so that the Officer-in-Charge can make adequate police arrangement to escort them to the venue for participating in the process of board formation. With the above observations and directions, this writ petition being WPA No. 19216 of 2023 is disposed of.”
It was argued by the petitioners that they were winning candidates from the Bandipur – I Gram Panchayat in the district of Paschim Medinipur.
The petitioners highlighted that the formation of the board is to take place at the Bandipur – I Gram Panchayat office on August 11, 2023 at 11.00 A.M, and that due to past experiences, they were apprehending a situation where “miscreants belonging to the ruling dispensation” would attempt to prevent the aforesaid board meeting.
It was argued that the petitioners had earlier applied for police protection, but no help had been forthcoming.
It was argued by the State that the complaint which formed the basis of the petitioners apprehensions had been taken up, and that proceedings had been initiated.
It was further submitted that police had been keeping a sharp vigil in the area, and that regular patrolling of the area was ongoing.
The State submitted that if the petitioner apprehended any further danger, they could approach the jurisdictional police station for necessary escort.
Upon hearing both parties, the Court noted that while steps had been taken in pursuance to the petitioners complaint, police escort arranged by the local police would be “in the interest of justice”, and accordingly issued the necessary directions.
Case: Mritunjoy Poria & Ors. Versus The State of West Bengal & Ors.
Coram: Justice Jay Sengupta
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 221