New Delhi: The Supreme Court has today refused to extend the last date for filing nominations of the West Bengal panchayat polls. The court said that it cannot interfere with the election processes.
Candidates have, however, been granted the liberty to approach the State Election Commission by the top court to address their issues for appropriate relief.
"We have not interfered with the election process but we have granted liberty to all candidates to approach State Election Commission today itself for necessary relief," a bench of Justices RK Agrawal and AM Sapre said.
On 6 March, BJP had approached the Supreme Court and said "democracy is being murdered" in Trinamool Congress, or TMC ruled West Bengal, accusing it of being involved in not letting BJP candidates file their nominations for the upcoming polls besides being engaged in massive poll violence across the state.
BJP also accused that the assistant panchayat electoral registration officers, who are appointees of West Bengal State Election Commission, were refusing to give nomination forms to BJP candidates.
The West Bengal unit of BJP asked for the nomination papers to be made available online, the last date for filing these papers be extended and paramilitary forces be deployed in the state in the run-up to the polls scheduled in the first week of May.
The panchayat polls are scheduled to be held on May 1, 3, and 5. The votes will be counted on May 8. According to the notification, the last date for filing of nominations is April 9 and the last date of scrutiny of the nominations is April 11.