Supreme Court stays Calutta High Court order on West Bengal panchayat polls

New Delhi, May 10: A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took note of the fact that almost 17,000 candidates have won the panchayat polls unopposed and directed the state poll panel not to declare them as winners.The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the state poll panel to ensure "free and fair" panchayat elections on May 14 in the state.The apex court said the high court's direction and the fact that 34 per cent of the candidates have won the election unopposed, "are worrying". On May 8, the high court had directed the SEC to accept the nominations of those candidates named by CPI(M) who had filed their papers electronically within the stipulated time before 3 pm on April 23. Agencies