The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by the Trinamool Congress seeking postponement of local body polls in Tripura in view of the incidents of violence.
A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Vikram Nath, however, directed the state police to enhance security for the smooth conduct of elections scheduled on November 25.
"Postponing elections is a matter of last and extreme recourse,” the top court said while pointing out that the poll process has already begun.
It further directed the police to act in an even-handed and non-partisan manner to redress the grievances of the TMC that their candidates and supporters are unfairly targeted.
The DGP and LGP (L&O) were asked to hold a joint meeting with the Election Commission by November 24 morning for assessing availability of paramilitary forces. Three battalions of CRPF are already there in the state for field duty.
The court asked the state government to submit a statement of complaints, FIRs lodged, actions taken and arrests made.
The petition was filed by TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev who alleged that the Tripura authorities had failed to comply with the apex court’s November 11 order directing them to ensure free and safe atmosphere for political campaigning in the state.
The party was represented by senior advocate Jaideep Gupta who submitted that even after the SC directive on November 11, security situation in Tripura has worsened.
"Political workers are being driven out. Kindly consider how much effect will it have on voters. Will the voters come out ? We are asking for committee of observers,” Gupta said.