WB rural polls: SC junks plea on deploying observers

One-liner: The SC has junked a plea by NHRC challenging an order of Calcutta HC setting aside the human rights body’s directive deputing its official for identifying sensitive constituencies and deploying micro-observers for the just concluded panchayat polls in West Bengal.

Autonomy of SEC affected: A bench said interference by the NHRC affected the autonomy and independence of the State Election Commission (SEC).

Order challenged: The SC was hearing a petition filed by NHRC challenging an order of the division bench of the HC which said the direction of the National Human Rights Commission sought to encroach upon the jurisdiction of the SEC to conduct free and fair panchayat elections.

  • The NHRC had, by its June 12 order, deputed its director general (investigation) as a special human rights observer to give it first-hand information on incidents of violence  during the polls

Comprehensive report: It had said once the sensitive areas have been identified, the DG will submit a comprehensive report to it for the deployment of micro human rights observers in all sensitive seats.

NHRC appeal dismissed: Holding that it is not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the single bench, a division bench of the HC presided over by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam had dismissed the appeal by the NHRC.