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PIL filed in Calcutta HC challenging appointment of Bengal Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha
Bengal polls
Image: Wikimedia Commons

PIL filed in Calcutta HC challenging appointment of Bengal Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha

| @indiablooms | 26 Jun 2023, 09:54 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was on Monday filed in Calcutta High Court challenging the appointment of West Bengal Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha, court media reports said.

The PIL was filed by an advocate Nabendu Banerjee in the Calcutta High Court division bench headed by T S Sivagnanam. The case is likely to come up this week, the sources added.

Former State Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha was appointed to the state Election Commission on June 7 by Governor C V Ananda Bose, a day after Sinha announced the state panchayat elections, which were vociferously opposed by all opposition parties, including the BJP.

The Opposition parties alleged it was a hasty decision, and that too without calling an all-party meeting in this regard, which was dictatorial and undemocratic in the multi-party democracy.

Sinha also came under scrutiny by Calcutta High Court for his alleged dilly-dally in the deployment of central paramilitary forces, an order pronounced by the division bench following a case filed by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury.

During the filing of nomination papers at least six people died of clashes and the opposition parties alleged that the ruling TMC supporters prevented their opponent from filing nomination papers.

The court even told Rajiva Sinha if he could not handle the situation then quit and seek the Governor's assistance.

The Governor, after that, returned the appointment letter of Rajiva Sinha without signing it after the latter failed to attend a summon by the Raj Bhawan. He decided not to accept Sinha's joining letter after the High Court's observations.

On Wednesday last, the Governor had refused to accept the joining report of State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha.

The following day, Governor C.V. Ananda Bose said he had believed that Rajiva Sinha would conduct the Panchayat polls in a free and fair manner when he had appointed him as the head of the State Election Commission (SEC) but people were disappointed with the panel's apparent inaction.

“I had appointed the State Election Commissioner trusting that he would conduct the election freely and fairly. But I find that people are disappointed about the apparent inaction from the election commission. I have seen in the field that people are in a state of fear,” said the Governor on Thursday.

The Governor said the poll panel should be accountable for the deaths reported during the nomination filing phase.

“There is bloodshed. The election commission is accountable for every drop of human blood that is shed in the field. People want action, not an alibi for an action," the Governor said.

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