Democracy not working in WB: SC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jul 2018 11:20:19



THE Supreme court on Tuesday took a dim view of West Bengal panchayat election, saying thousands of seats going uncontested shows that democracy is not working in the State.

“It seems democracy is not working at the ground level. It is shocking that thousands of seats have gone uncontested,” said a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud.

Observing that over 34 per cent seats going uncontested makes it clear that part IX of the Constitution, dealing with the panchayat, was not functioning in the State, the bench directed the West Bengal State Election Commission to file an affidavit stating the number of seats that went uncontested.
The court said it would examine whether a High Court in exercise of its powers under Article 226 could read the provision of Information Technology Act into the Representation of People Act.

Even in the last hearing of the matter on May 10, Chief Justice Misra said: “What is worrying us is both the High Court order and 34 per cent candidates getting elected unopposed.” CJI Misra had said that SEC would ensure “absolute fairness” in the conduct of election.