High Court of Tripura directs EC to review areas of sensitivity and polling stations

High Court of Tripura directs EC to review areas of sensitivity and polling stations thumbnail

The High court of Tripura directed the state election commission to make an immediate review of sensitivity of the areas and polling stations and to make the categories of the polling stations on the basis of the security requirement for ensuring free and fair polls.

Civic polls are slated in Tripura on November 25. Opposition parties including CPI-M, Trinamool Congress and Congress alleged threat and intimidation to their candidates. CPI-M has filed a writ petition in the High Court.

The division bench of Satya Gopal Chattopadhyay and Subhashish Talapatra stated,” The allegations made in the writ petition have been appreciated by us and on the face of those, we hold back any comment on merit having knowledge the limit of jurisdiction. But we cannot shut our eyes from serious allegations as made by the writ petitioner.”

The court added, “The Election commission must have several categories or few categories for administering the free and fair poll. Sensitive polling stations shall be notified at least 24 hours before the polling time so that citizens may also express their apprehension to the state Election Commission. Those apprehensions should be immediately reviewed.”

The court stated that the state election commission can always expand the category for generating confidence in the voters that they can safely come out of their houses and vote freely. This is the primary obligation of any Election Commission. They are bound by the constitutional duty and obligation.

The court said, “If the petitioner thinks they should make representation to the state election commission regarding sensitivity of polling stations, they can make so within 24 hours so that some time is available to the commission to act thereon.”

The court added, “We should make a further observation that failure to discharge the obligation of conducting free and fair election by the state election commission would wound democracy critically. We hope that the state election commission will act accordingly.”

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