West Bengal: SC seeks Centre's response for imposing President's rule

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre for its response to imposition of the President's rule in West Bengal and setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for probing the causes of the post-poll violence in the state. The SC was reacting to a PIL on the violence going on in the state since May 2, the day the Assembly results were announced, and deployment of the armed or paramilitary forces in aid of the state administrative authorities to bring normalcy in the state.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice to the Centre, West Bengal and Election Commission of India on the plea, which also asked the Central and State government to award compensation to the victims and their kin after ascertaining the nature of loss sustained by them in post-poll violence in the state.

It, however, said it was not issuing notice to Mamata Banerjee as the president of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The PIL has been filed by advocate Ranjana Agnihotri and Jitender Singh of Uttar Pradesh.

“The petitioners are espousing the cause of thousands of citizens of West Bengal who are mostly Hindus and are being targeted by Muslims to take revenge for supporting BJP as they want to crush Hindus so that for years to come the power may remain with the party of their choice," said the petition. It requested the SC to direct the Central government to exercise its power conferred by Article 355 and Article 356 in view of the deteriorating condition posing a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India. The plea alleged that during the assembly elections which were held in April, the TMC party had contested the polls purely "on communal basis”.

It said that subsequently BJP made a complaint to ECI against the communal appeal made by TMC and the poll panel failed to hold free and fair election conforming to democratic norms and failed to enforce the mandatory provision of section 123 of Representation of People Act which has to be implemented during the election.

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