New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to postpone the municipal elections in Tripura in wake of the recent political violence in the state, saying deferring the polls "should be the last recourse". However, a two-judge bench of the top court, which included Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Vikram Nath, took cognizance of the recent political violence in Tripura, directing the state authorities to ensure that polls are conducted fairly.

"Postponing elections is a matter of last and extreme recourse. We consider that instead of postponing elections, the apprehensions can be redressed by issuing pre-emptory directions to Tripura to ensure that remaining phases of municipal elections take place in fair manner," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The apex court also directed the Tripura government whether central forces are deployed in the state to ensure security or not. It also asked the state government to submit about how many first information reports (FIRs) have been registered in Tripura in connection with the recent violence.

It is duty of the DGP, IGP and Home Secretary to assuage any misgiving of law enforcement machinery in supporting the electoral process. Law enforcement agencies must discharge duty in a non-partisan and non-biased manner and allay apprehensions that political adversaries are being targeted," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

Violence had erupted in Tripura on Sunday following clashes between TMC and BJP workers. On Monday, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear TMC's plea seeking contempt action against the Tripura government and others for failing to curtail violent incidents against opposition parties in the run up to the upcoming local body polls.

On November 11, the top court had directed the Tripura government to ensure that no political party including TMC, in the fray for local body polls of the state, is prevented from pursuing electoral rights in accordance with law and from campaigning in a peaceful and orderly manner.

The apex court had also directed the state government to make appropriate arrangements for ensuring law and order for unimpeded right of political participation in the municipal elections. It had issued notice to the state government on the plea by TMC and its Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev seeking security for the party workers and representatives alleging wide scale violence against them.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma