SC agrees to hear Trinamool plea on Tripura situation

by IANS |

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a contempt petition by Trinamool Congress claiming that the law and order situation is worsening in the state as the date for local body elections scheduled on November 25 draws closer.

The court will hear the plea on Tuesday.

On November 11, the Supreme Court asked the Tripura Police to ensure that none of the political parties were prevented from exercising their rights to campaign for the upcoming local body elections in a peaceful manner.

On Monday, a counsel mentioned the petition before a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. Citing the earlier writ petition in connection with the Tripura elections, the counsel submitted that the top court had passed directions for the arrangement of security, but the situation is worsening.

He added that recent incidents happened and they were happening across the board now, and insisted for urgent hearing of the contempt petition in the matter. The counsel said: "The situation is very volatile. It requires the court's considerations..."

Justice Chandrachud agreed to take up the matter on Tuesday. On November 11, the top court had said: "We expect that necessary arrangements will be made by the state government and the DGP along with law enforcement machinery of the state."

The top court, in its order, said: "We accordingly direct the respondents, by way of an ad-interim order, to duly consider the grievance which has been placed before the Court in these proceedings, which has been briefly adverted to in the earlier part of this order so that appropriate arrangements are made to ensure the maintenance of law and order in a manner that would further the unimpeded right of political participation in the course of the ensuing municipal elections."

The top court sought an affidavit by the Tripura government explaining the steps being taken in pursuance of the present order and even otherwise to ensure that the process of election during the ensuing municipal elections in Tripura remains free and fair.

"The Director General of Police and the Home Secretary shall file a joint report of compliance, on affidavit, in pursuance of the above directions", said the court.

The top court had passed the interim order after hearing submission of senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the Trinamool Congress and its Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev. The plea cited alleged violence against the party members and sought a direction to protect them for the municipal polls slated on November 25.

On Sunday, Tripura Police arrested actor and Trinamool leader Saayoni Ghosh on charges of promoting enmity between people, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. The police registered an FIR against her at the East Agartala Police Station for allegedly disturbing a municipal poll rally of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb at Ashram Chowmuhani area on Saturday.

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