Admitting on record a fresh notification issued by the West Bengal government for holding rural polls, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed it to file an affidavit on the plea filed by the State Election Commission. Justice Biswanath Somadder directed the State to file its affidavit on Thursday and the SEC’s reply, if any, by April 16.

The SEC had moved the court on April 1 against the “unilateral decision” of the Panchayat department to issue a notification that the polls would be held on April 26 and 30. Later, the State issued a fresh notification on April 4 stating that the polls would be held on May 5 and 8.

The SEC told the court that this notification was “illegal” and “mala fide with the object of frustrating the holding of panchayat elections.” But the court had directed the notification be taken on record.