The Supreme Court today stayed the Calcutta High Court order that had allowed email nominations of candidates to be treated as legitimate nominations. The Court also directed the West Bengal State Election Commission not to declare the results of constituencies with uncontested candidates..The matter was mentioned this morning before the Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, and was taken up for hearing post lunch..Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi represented the State Election Commission, while Senior Counsel PS Patwalia appeared for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Senior Advocate Ashok Bhan appeared for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M)..The petitioner, the West Bengal State Election Commission, stated that the order of Calcutta High Court ruled that provisions of the IT Act would apply to everyone, effectively putting the State Election Commission under the IT Act’s purview..Dwivedi contended that the Election Commission was formed under the Constitution and would not fall within the purview of the state government’s laws..It was also the petitioner’s contention that the High Court order merely directs that email nominations should be accepted. It was also pointed out that there is a due process involved when nominations are filed in person, and the same cannot be followed in case of email nominations..CJI Misra, summarising the issues at hand, said,.“The main issues here are whether nomination papers can be filed electronically and whether the provisions of the IT Act are applicable.”.Counsel for BJP Patwalia, while making his submissions, stated that,.“It is incumbent upon the Election Commission to carry out free and fair elections.”.Patwalia went on to cite news reports which say that a large number of seats were declared to have been won by the ruling party, Trinamool Congress (TMC) since they were uncontested. Reports were also cited pointing out that candidates from other parties were not allowed to file their nominations in several constituencies..It was also argued by the BJP that while the Election Commission has issued an order extending the date for filing nominations, the same order was recalled the very next day. It was contended that the state government was holding the Election Commission to ransom..Patwalia pointed out that 34 per cent of the constituencies went unopposed and the candidates from the ruling TMC were declared winners even before the polls took place..At this point, the petitioner clarified that the winner was declared only where there was no contest and the polling date was set at May 14 in accordance with the High Court order..The petitioner reiterated multiple times that the issue at hand was not the 34 per cent of unopposed constituencies, but the email nominations..“How can we accept email nominations and just include the names in the list of candidates?”.The Bench, after hearing the matter, stayed the High Court’s order allowing online nominations of candidates..The order also states that the date of Panchayat polls shall remain to be May 14 and the polls should be carried out in accordance with the law. The Court also categorically stated that the entire process of election, in all aspects, should be completed and the results should be declared as per the law..However, in what can be seen as a setback to the Trinamool Congress, the Court directed the State Election Commission not to declare any winners in constituencies where there is no contest without its leave. As regards the duty of the Election Commission, the SC said,.“West Bengal State Election Commission and its functionaries shall see to it that the election which is scheduled for May 14 is held in absolute fairness, keeping in view the concept of purity of an election in a democracy.”.The next hearing in this matter is on July 3..Read the order below.