Row over Panchayat polls has led to constitutional crisis: WB to SC

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NEW DELHI: The West Bengal government today told the Supreme Court that the row over the recently concluded panchayat polls in the state has led to a “constitutional crisis” since the tenure of several Panchayats were over and new bodies have not been made functional.
The apex court had earlier stayed the Calcutta High Court order asking the state election body to accept the nomination papers filed through e-mail for panchayat elections and directed the poll panel not to declare in the gazette the names of those candidates who had won unopposed.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D Y Chandrachud was told that a constitutional crisis has emerged as tenure under Article 243(E) (duration of Panchayat) of the Constitution of several panchayats is over.
“The funds allotted to panchayats will go back. There is a constitutional crisis under Article 243(E) of the Constitution. The development in the villages has come to a standstill,” the counsel for the state government said.
The top court, said that it is a part heard matter by a three-judge bench and only when the bench is in appropriate combination, it will be taken up for hearing.
It listed the matter for further hearing on August 20.
The top court had on August 13 asked the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) as to whether it conducted any probe into the fact that a large number of seats in the local body elections in the state went uncontested.