Calcutta HC to deliver verdict on Bhabanipur bypoll on Tuesday – India Today

Kolkata News

The Calcutta High Court is set to deliver its verdict on Tuesday on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that questioned the Election Commission’s decision to hold by-election to the Bhabanipur constituency, a seat West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting.

Last week, the high court had concluded hearing on the matter and reserved judgement on the PIL, filed by Sayan Banerjee.

The PIL claimed that the Election Commission in a statement had noted that it had decided to hold by-election to Bhabanipur constituency “considering the constitutional exigency and special request from state of West Bengal”.

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On Thursday, the court had directed the EC regarding its September 4 notification, where it was written that the West Bengal Chief Secretary had requested ECI to hold the by-elections. The letter had stated that by-elections should be held, failing which there will be a constitutional crisis in the state.

The petitioner, Sayan Banerjee, alleged that the letter from the State Chief Secretary was a clear violation of the provisions of the Indian Constitution and that the letter caused an impact on the electorate.

The EC, on its part, said the petitioner is attempting to mischaracterise the meaning of the term “constitutional exigency”. The EC maintained that there can be no possibility of the same being construed as an influence on voters.

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Meanwhile, the West Bengal government had on September 13 submitted before the court and claimed that the state has no role in the decision to hold the bypoll in Bhabanipur and that it is the sole preserve of the EC, adding that the chief secretary had only written to EC requesting that the by-election be held and that the commission had accepted the request.

The bypoll to Bhabanipur seat is scheduled on September 30.


The by-election was necessitated following the resignation of Trinamool Congress MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, in order to facilitate the party chief Mamata Banerjee’s election to the assembly.

Mamata Banerjee, who had earlier represented the Bhabanipur seat in 2011 and 2016, had contested the March-April assembly polls from Nandigram and had lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Suvendu Adhikari.

Following the declaration of assembly election results, the TMC leader had moved the court challenging the result.

According to the Constitution, a person has to get elected to the legislature within six months of taking an oath as a minister. Mamata Banerjee took oath as the West Bengal chief minister for the third consecutive term on May 5.

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