In a vacation bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M.R Shah, dismissed the plea of appointing two retired bureaucrats as observers in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls. The bench stated that, the plea could not be entertained as the polling process was already over. However, the petitioner, Ramu Mandi, an independent candidate from Barrackpore constituency of West Bengal was allowed to approach the Calcutta High Court. Voting in Barrackpore was held in the fifth phase of the general elections.
The Petitioner claimed that the two observers were appointed in contravension of the law.Vivek Dubey and Ajay V Nayak were the two appointees. They were appointed to make sure that certain favours were granted at the time of the elections. Mr Dubey was appointed as police observer , whereas My Nayak was appointed as special observer. The Petitioner was apprehensive that the appointment of these observers will be against his interest as an independent candidate. He also claimed that the observers were causing prejudice and his chance of getting elected was getting harmed by their illegal appointment. Further, the observers had made unnecessary comments publicly to jeopardize the election process. The Petitioner also contended that, the appointments of these observers did not fulfill the criteria under the Representation of the People Act as they were retired bureaucrats and not officers of government.
The Petitioner submitted that there was no apparent reason to nominate or appoint retired officers as observerswhen there are multiple reputed senior officers who work with integrity.