SC refuses to order repoll in West Bengal

Earlier, they appealed to the Calcutta High Court. The High Court, on May 8, directed the West Bengal State Election Commission to accept nominations submitted in the electronic form in order to ensure free and fair elections. The Commission, in turn, moved the Supreme Court, arguing that there was no provision in law that allowed nominations to be filed in the electronic form. Concluding that the High Court order transgressed its jurisdiction, a three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, refused to order fresh election to the seats won uncontested by the Trinamool candidates. The apex court ruling, authored by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud for the Bench also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, reasoned that complaints were brought to court by political parties and not the affected parties — the individual candidates who were allegedly unable to contest. The court said it could not interfere and set at naught the election results to over 20,000 seats in the absence of the “affected parties before the court.” Besides, Justice Chandrachud explained that an election process cannot be interdicted mid-stage. The law commands that complaints about an election should be addressed in court only after the polls are over, that too via, election petitions.

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