Agartala: In view of the allegations of violence in the ongoing civic poll today in Tripura, Supreme Court in an interim order directed the state home secretary, DGP and state election commission to ensure immediately that every polling booth is manned by sufficient strength of central armed police force.
The Court also directed that print and electronic media should have unhindered access to report the election, after being told by the counsel for Trinamool congress that polling booths don’t have CCTV coverage. And, MHA was asked to respond expeditiously as soon as the requisition of central force from the state.
Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for Trinamool Congress and advocate P V Surendranath, appearing for CPI-M submitted before the bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath submitted that widespread acts of violence are happening today as soon as poll began.
There are multiple videos of outsiders barging into polling booths and offering to produce the video evidence before the bench. He added that a candidate of TMC was being prevented from casting a vote, they appraised the court. However, Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the State of Tripura, refuted the allegations and submitted that all steps are taken to ensure peaceful elections.
Later, the Court passed the ad-interim directions without going into the merits of the allegations. “…enquiring into the merits of the allegations submitted by the petitioners and intervener would cause further delay.
Hence at this stage, having regard to the nature of exigency of the situation, we are of the view that certain ad-interim directions are necessary”, the court added.