Calcutta High Court

Ahead of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections, Chief Justice of the High Court Prakash Srivastava during the hearing of a case on Tuesday directed to install CCTV in all booths. 

The State Election Commission did not raise any objection in this regard. The number of booths has increased this time and voting will take place in about 1500 of them.

BJP leader Devdatta Majhi said that CCTV was needed in those booths. “Violence has also taken place in the last Assembly elections. Whatever the day of the election, there is no further evidence to go to court later. These footages could be important then,” he said.

Majhi had filed a case on this petition and made a request to install CCTVs in the strongroom.

The commission said that it had already made arrangements to install CCTVs in sensitive booths. “Arrangements have already been made to install CCTV in more than 20% booths,” the commission said. The commission informed the court that they are ready to install CCTV in all the booths. As they did not raise any objection in the court, the judge directed to install CCTV in all the booths on the day of polling.

Meanwhile, the BJP has filed public interest litigation in all the municipalities of the state seeking a joint vote. The state’s pre-poll also demanded that VVPAT be kept with EVMs. There are 125 municipalities and municipal corporations in the state. Of these, 118 are municipalities and six are municipalities.

The two filed a lawsuit against the pre-vote. One of the two plaintiffs said that the pre-vote should be held together. Another plaintiff, Mausumi Roy, said that the state should make it clear when the polls will be declared in those municipalities which have expired long ago. The verdict was due on Monday after the hearing. But on the same day, the BJP said that it wanted to give another answer based on the ongoing hearing of the case. Therefore, the court has not yet given the verdict in this case.

The state government first informed the state election commission that they wanted votes in Kolkata and Howrah first. On 19 December, the ruling party requested that vote. Although that demand has not been sealed. In Kolkata, the vote was on 19 December, but in Howrah, it was not.