The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said that the West Bengal Election Commission’s response was not adequate in preventing violence during the panchayat polls on July 8, reported Live Law.

The division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya was hearing a batch of pleas, including one filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari, pertaining to the violence and alleged electoral malpractice on the polling day.

At least 20 persons were killed in poll-related violence in West Bengal till Monday. The petitioners alleged that ballot boxes were looted, destroyed, and in some places voters had been intimidated. Repolling was held on Monday in 696 booths where voting had to be suspended due to the violence.

On Wednesday, the High Court asked the State Election Commission on what basis it had ordered repolling at 696 booths only, reported Live Law. The High Court sought to know whether the poll panel had conducted any exercise to examine whether repolling was required in all the booths as mentioned by one of the petitioners.

Violence was also reported in West Bengal on Tuesday when the counting of votes was underway.

“Court is surprised to note that even after declaration of results, the state is not able to control the violence that has erupted,” the bench said. “Various allegations have been made on the liberty of citizens being compromised and that police are not helping the innocent citizens.”

The High Court said that the state government has to ensure that there is no breach of peace. “If it is not in a position to safeguard its citizens then it is a very serious matter to be taken note of,” the court said.

The judges directed the state election commission, the state as well as the Central government to file affidavits addressing all the allegations. The matter will be next heard on July 20.

The Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in the panchayat polls, winning 2,552 out of 3,317 gram panchayats. The Mamata Banerjee-led party also won 232 of the 341 panchayat samitis and 12 out of 20 zilla parishads for which elections were held.

But during Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Sivagnanam told the poll panel that the election of candidates will be subject to final orders passed by the High Court.