#Kolkata: “Why did you file the case so many days after the notification was issued?” This was the question asked by the Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal in the last hearing of the public interest litigation filed in the Calcutta High Court regarding the Bhabanipur By-Election. He also postponed the hearing of the case. During the hearing of the case, the High Court directed the Election Commission to submit an affidavit stating how the constitutional obligation was created in a by-election.
And only 7 days left for Bhabanipur by-election. The by-election will be held on September 30 at the High Voltage Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. A public interest litigation has been filed in the Calcutta High Court over this by-election. In the context of the Bhabanipur by-election, it was written in the press statement of the Election Commission that if this election is not held, there will be a constitutional crisis, the Chief Secretary of the state has mentioned. The court raised questions about that issue.
Incidentally, the statement issued by the Election Commission in the context of the Bhabanipur by-election was mentioned in Article 8, ‘The Chief Secretary of West Bengal said, the coronavirus situation in the state is now under complete control. The flood situation in West Bengal will also not affect the polling stations. Under Article 164 (4) of the Constitution of India, if a Minister is not a member of the Legislative Assembly, his ministerial post is removed within 6 months of the publication of the results of the vote. And if the highest office bearer is not appointed to that post, a constitutional crisis may arise.
Public interest litigant Sion Banerjee claimed in court that there was no demand to stop the election. But the Election Commission should remove from its press statement the mention of the Chief Secretary’s recommendation that there could be a constitutional crisis if by-elections are not held in Bhabanipur. In that context, the Calcutta High Court directed the Election Commission to submit an affidavit within 24 hours. In that affidavit it has to be stated, under what circumstances were paragraphs 6 and 7 of the press statement of the commission made? If there is no by-election in Bhabanipur center, there will be a constitutional crisis, who wrote it? Election Commission or Chief Secretary of State? How can constitutional obligation come in a by-election? The next hearing of the case will be held in the Division Bench of the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on Friday after receiving the affidavit.