The fact of the Case
In the Instant Case of Suvendu Adhikari v. Rajiva Sinha while considering several contempt petitions Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP and Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary of the Congress filed the current case’s contempt appeal against the government of West Bengal and the West Bengal States Elections Commission for failing to comply with the High Court’s orders. By ruling dated June 13, 2023, the High Court instructed the SEC to request paramilitary force in places where violence is likely to occur to protect the security and safety of poll workers’ and poll officers’ lives. The SEC was given 48 hours about two days from the date of the ruling by the High Court to request a mobilisation of Centre Guards for every District in the territory of West Bengal.
Conclusion of the Court
Given the petitioners’ genuine concerns about post-election violence, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court, led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Uday Kumar, ordered the extension of the posting of Central Armed Forces in the territory of West Bengal for ten days following the announcement of the election results.
It is undisputed that there was widespread post-election violence immediately after the previous Panchayat Poll and also during the election of the state legislature, the Court stated. The Court continued by saying that although it is improper to assume that such abuse will occur shortly after the impending elections, the apprehension in the brains of the petitioner cannot be brushed aside. The Court noted that the electorate must be protected since the general public will be impacted if there is any violence after the proclamation of election results.
The Court ruled that the Central Armed Forces must remain in West Bengal for ten days after the results are announced and ordered the Indian government’s Ministry of home affairs to give the Inspector General of the BSF the necessary orders and directives. The Court set the next hearing date on July 11, 2023.
CASE NAME – Suvendu Adhikari v. Rajiva Sinha, CPAN/831/2023