The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a petition challenging the appointment of two retired bureaucrats as election observers in West Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls, PTI reported.
A vacation bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah declined to entertain the plea as polling was already over. The bench, however, allowed the petitioner Ramu Mandi to approach the Calcutta High Court.
Mandi had contested the elections as an independent candidate from Barrackpore constituency in West Bengal. The petitioner had alleged that the two poll observers, Vivek Dubey and Ajay V Nayak, were appointed to ensure “certain favours” were granted during the elections. Dubey was appointed central police observer for West Bengal and Jharkhand, while Nayak was the special observer for West Bengal.
Mandi alleged that the observers would “indulge in favouritism and partisanship” and their appointments will be against his interest as an independent candidate. “Numerous attempts have been made by them to jeopardise the election process by making unnecessary and unwarranted statements in public about the West Bengal’s purported precarious condition,” Mandi said in the plea.
The plea also claimed that the appointment of Dubey and Nayak as observers did not fulfil the requirement laid down under the Representation of the People Act as they were retired bureaucrats and not “officers of government”. The petitioner said there was no reason to appoint retired bureaucrats as observers when there were senior officers currently in service with “impeccable integrity”.
Barrackpore went to the polls in the fifth phase of the general elections.