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In Trinamool Congress Plea, Supreme Court Directs Tripura Authorities To Ensure Free & Fair Elections, Peaceful Campaigning

Shruti Kakkar
11 Nov 2021 11:04 AM GMT
In Trinamool Congress Plea, Supreme Court Directs Tripura Authorities To Ensure Free & Fair Elections, Peaceful Campaigning
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The Supreme Court on Thursday held in a petition filed by the All India Trinamool Congress that it is the responsibility of the Tripura police authorities to ensure that no political party is prevented from exercising their rights in accordance with law for political campaigning in a peaceful manner.A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath passed the order in view...

The Supreme Court on Thursday held in a petition filed by the All India Trinamool Congress that it is the responsibility of the Tripura police authorities to ensure that no political party is prevented from exercising their rights in accordance with law for political campaigning in a peaceful manner.

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath passed the order in view of the fact that the process for the municipal elections have started.

The petition was filed by AITC and its Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev alleging violence against Trinamool Congress members in Tripura and seeking protection for them for the upcoming municipal polls, due to be held on November 25.

The bench stated in the order, "We expect that necessary arrangements will be made by the Government & the DGP along with law enforcement machinery of the state".

"We are of the view that since the election process has commenced, it is the responsibility of the respondents to ensure that no political party is prevented from pursuing its rights in accordance with law for political campaigning in a peaceful manner", the order stated.

The bench passed an ad-interim order directing the Tripura police authorities to consider the nature of threats that has been averred in the petition so that appropriate arrangements are made to ensure maintenance of law and order.

With regards to plea for individual security,  the concerned Superintendents of Police shall take decision having regard to threat perception with regards to each case and area and take appropriate action with respect to security as required.

The Court also called for an affidavit by the Home Secretary of Tripura explaining the steps taken in pursuance to the present order to ensure that elections in Tripura shall remain free and fair. The Court directed the DGP and the Home Secretary to file joint report of compliance. The matter will be heard after two weeks.

Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan represented the petitioners. There was no appearance for the State of Tripura. The petitioners' counsel told the bench that copy was served on the Tripura government counsel.

The bench initially asked the petitioners' counsel why the High Court was not approached. The counsel replied that the matter listed in the High Court was not taken up today and was adjourned to next week.

The Court noted in the order that the petitioners have tabulated in synopsis incidents of violence which have allegedly taken place against them.  The petition adverted to an incident of violence which took place on October 22, 2021 when a team of AITC leaders and workers were in midst of public contact proceedings. Though FIR was registered, no arrests have been made, the petitioners stated.

As consequence it was submitted that though the election process has commenced, the Trinamool Congress members have been prevented from the right of electoral campaign as a result of actual and threatened violence.

The Court also took note of a document produced by the petitioners which declined them permission to hold a meeting at Agartala city.

Click here to read/download the order




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