The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear on November 23 the Trinamool Congress Party's plea seeking contempt action against the Tripura government and others for failing to curtail violent incidents against opposition parties in the run up to the upcoming local body polls.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna said it will hear the plea on Tuesday after advocate Amar Dave, appearing for TMC, said that despite court’s November 11 order the situation in the state is worsening.
“Yesterday, there was an incident. The situation in the state is very volatile and it has gone from bad to worse. The situation is worsening day by day,” he said.
The plea for contempt action has been filed as there are repeated incidents of violence and false cases are being lodged against their members, he added. When the bench asked whether the petition has been filed, Dave said it is in the process being filed and once it is numbered, he will provide it to the court.
“Ok, we will hear it on Tuesday. Once the petition is numbered, you provide the details to the court master”, the bench said.
On November 11, the top court had directed the Tripura government to ensure that no political party including TMC, in the fray for local body polls of the state, is prevented from pursuing electoral rights in accordance with law and from campaigning in a peaceful and orderly manner.
The apex court had also directed the state government to make appropriate arrangements for ensuring law and order for unimpeded right of political participation in the municipal elections. It had issued notice to the state government on the plea by TMC and its Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev seeking security for the party workers and representatives alleging wide scale violence against them.
“Since the election process has commenced, it is the bounden obligation of the respondents (Tripura government) to ensure that no political party which is in the fray is prevented from pursuing its electoral rights in accordance with law and from campaigning in a peaceful and orderly manner,” the top court had said.
Necessary arrangements shall be put in place and appropriate action taken by the Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs of the Government of Tripura as well as by the Director General of Police, together with the law enforcement machinery of the State to enforce and comply with this order, it had said.
The top court had said that as regards to the plea for individual security, the concerned Superintendents of Police who are impleaded as parties in the plea shall take a decision having regard to the threat perception with reference to each case and area and take necessary action for the maintenance and provision of security, as required.
“An affidavit shall be filed by the first respondent (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 bench said.
It had also asked the Director General of Police and the Home Secretary of the State to file a joint report of compliance, on affidavit, in pursuance of the directions of the court. The top court posted the matter for further hearing on November 25.
The TMC party and Dev have sought directions to the state government and police officials to ensure the maintenance of security and safety in the areas where the elections are scheduled to be held in November 2021.
The plea has also sought direction for providing security to the members of TMC for the constitution of a “neutral and fair SIT” to probe into the incidents of violence meted with its workers.
The local body election process commenced on October 22 after the notification and polling will take place on November 25. Polling for a municipal corporation, thirteen Municipal Councils and six Nagar Panchayats in the Tripura will be held on November 25.
With PTI inputs.