With the looming deadline for casting ballots for the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) Election next week, a special leave petition (SLP) was filed today in the Supreme Court seeking immediate stay and an independent Commission to conduct the election. The SLP was filed by PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha and Dr. Dharanikanta Ghosh, two candidates contesting the WBMC election after their PIL was dismissed by a division bench of Calcutta High Court earlier this month. While Calcutta High Court dismissed the petition filed by Dr. Saha and Dr. Ghosh seeking urgent intervention of the court because serious allegations of ballot snatching and rigging of vote surfaced against candidates belonging to the ruling Trinamool-Congress party. Also, the ballot for this election contains an identifying “serial number” making no secrecy of voting. It is alleged that many doctors with no political affiliation are reluctant to vote against the candidates for fear of retaliation because their identity may be disclosed from the “serial number”. The PIL also demanded that the “serial number” must be removed from the ballot in order to hold a fair and impartial election. Interestingly, while dismissing the PIL, Calcutta High Court granted leave to Dr. Saha/Dr. Ghosh to raise the same dispute but only after the election. This order by Calcutta HC has been challenged in the SLP filed in SC today (see copy of the SLP below).