The Calcutta High Court on 1st March 2021 disposed of the present PIL matter by recording the Election Commission’s submissions as an assurance that the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Polls would be conducted in a free and fair manner.
The instant writ petition was filed in lieu of raising the reasonable apprehension upon the conduct of the free and fair election of Bidhan Sabha, under the supervision of the Election Commission in the State of West Bengal.
The learned Advocate General contended that the present petition should not be entertained because the contents of the said petition didn’t constitute any real apprehension which may generate or ignite exercise of writ jurisdiction, that too as a Public Interest Litigation.
The Bench of Hon’ble Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Shampa Sarkar remarked that Free and fair elections formed a part of the democratic rights of the citizenry as a whole. It was further observed that the constitutional backdrop encouraged the Election Commission of India to have complete control over the election procedure. It was also held that the domain of the Election Commission of India as one of its prime duty, was to include the ensured conduct of a free and fair election in the constituencies, where a notification has been issued by it.
Furthermore, the Court ruled that the Courts have the jurisdiction to loathe interference in the matters touching elections, once a notification was issued and until the electoral process was fully completed and the results were being declared.
The Hon’ble Court disposed of the petition by accepting the submissions on behalf of the Election Commission of India, of ensuring free and fair conduct of elections along with the appropriate steps needed to be taken for such purpose in the State of West Bengal in connection Vidhan Sabha assembly polls to be held recently as being notified.
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