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HC issues notice to ECI on Tripura MP’s fresh poll demand
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, May 18 - High Court of Tripura has issued a show cause notice to Election Commission of India (ECI) asking it to reply to a writ petition filed by the outgoing MP Sankar Prasad Datta seeking a fresh election in West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

The Left Front MP in his petition had sought Supreme Court’s intervention for fresh election following the alleged large scale rigging and booth capturing in West Tripura Lok Sabha election. However, Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi has asked the petitioner to knock the door of Tripura High Court.

After direction from the apex court, Datta filed a fresh petition in the High Court on the same plea. After hearing the case, Justice Arindam Lodh on Friday issued a show cause notice to ECI asking it to reply to the writ petition seeking fresh voting in West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

Shaktimoy Chakraborty, who represented the ECI, told the court that he did not study the petition thoroughly and the Election Commission would submit a ‘counter reply’ in response to the original writ petition filed by the MP.

Justice Lodh granted the ECI counsel’s request and fixed May 21 as the next date for hearing of the case.

Datta, in his writ petition had claimed that fresh election in West Tripura Lok Sabha election is a need as around 50 per cent of the voters could not cast their vote on April 11 due to large scale rigging, booth capturing and intimidation.

“The ECI had ordered repoll only in 168 booths of the Parliamentary constituency based on the special observer’s recommendation by overruling the Returning Officer’s recommendation to conduct re-poll in 400 plus booths”, he stated in the plea.

This is for the first time in the State’s electoral history that an outgoing MP has knocked at the door of higher judiciary to get a fresh voting in a particular Lok Sabha constituency.

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