#Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has condemned the Calcutta High Court’s decision to hold the Bhabanipur By-Election. On Thursday, the High Court had directed the Election Commission to submit an affidavit stating how the constitutional obligation was created in a by-election. On the same day that the affidavit was submitted, the High Court expressed extreme anger over the move of the Election Commission. In the context of the public interest litigation filed in the Bhabanipur by-election, the court asked, ‘Constitution and law obligation for one seat? How did the Chief Secretary write about the constitutional crisis? How can the Election Commission take action on the basis of the letter of the Chief Secretary?
Not only that, raising the issue of Bhabanipur in particular, the Division Bench of the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Rajesh Bindal angrily said, ‘Constitution and law obligation for one seat? One will win the election and resign, another will stand in his place! ‘ Not only that, on this day, the High Court asked the Election Commission, ‘How much does it cost to hold a by-election?’ The lawyer of the commission was not ready to answer that question. The plaintiff’s lawyers then said that crores of rupees were spent. Raising the issue, the Chief Justice of the High Court raised the question, ‘Why will the people’s tax money be spent for that by-election? Why the Election Commission can not answer the court? According to the source, it is necessary to find out whether the cost of this by-election can be managed in any other way. However, the court did not give any verdict on that day.
In this regard, the statement issued by the Election Commission on the Bhabanipur by-election was mentioned in paragraphs 6 and 7, ‘said the Chief Secretary of West Bengal, the coronavirus situation in the state is now under complete control. The flood situation in West Bengal will also have no effect on the constituencies going to the polls. Under Article 164 (4) of the Constitution of India, if a Minister is not a member of the Legislative Assembly, his ministerial post is terminated 6 months after the result of the vote. And if the highest office bearer is not appointed to that post, a constitutional crisis may arise.
Sion Bandyopadhyay, the plaintiff in the Bhabanipur by-election case, has filed a petition in the court, but he has no claim that the election should be stopped. But if the by-election in Bhabanipur is not held, there will be a constitutional crisis. Accordingly, the Calcutta High Court directed the Election Commission to submit an affidavit within 24 hours. After submitting the affidavit, the Election Commission had to face extreme reprimand from the court.