Notice To Election Panel On Nandigram Polls, Judge Wants EVMs Preserved

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Mamata Banerjee, who contested from Nandigram, had lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari (File)

New Delhi:

A notice will be sent to the Election Commission regarding the assembly election in Bengal’s Nandigram, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost to the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikai in May while her party had a huge victory elsewhere in the state. Ms Banerjee had challenged the results, and sought that Suvendu Adhikari’s election be declared void.

Justice Shampa Sarkar, who was hearing the case online, asked that a notice be served to the Commission, and the Returning Officer. She also asked that all the papers and Electronic Voting Machines related to poll be preserved.

Ms Banerjee — who appeared in court online — has alleged corrupt practices by Mr Adhikari including bribery, promotion of hatred and enmity, seeking votes on the basis of religion and booth capture; there were also discrepancies in the counting procedure and discrepancies and non-compliance in Form 17C, which is the account of votes recorded and the result of counting.

The next hearing in the case will be held on August 12.

The petition by the Trinamool Congress chief was earlier with Justice Kaushik Chanda, who fined her Rs 5 lakh after making angry observations, accusing her of a “planned move to malign a judge” and of violating her constitutional duty.

Justice Chanda then exited the case. Ms Banerjee had asked the judge to quit the case over “conflict of interest”.

Ms Banerjee told the court that she feared bias by the judge who had links with the BJP.



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