Mamata Banerjee (left), Suvendu Adhikari (right)
File photo

Kolkata Hight Court on Wednesday ordered India's top poll panel to preserve all voting machines in an election petition filed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over her defeat in May's assembly polls.

The court also issued a notice to WB's main opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the case lodged by Mamata challenging her former protégé-turned-rival’s win from Nandigram constituency in the assembly polls.

"Justice Shampa Sarkar asked the Election Commission of India to preserve all records, and devices, such as electronic voting machines and video recordings, apart from issuing the notice to Suvendu," Mamata's lawyer Sanjay Basu told the media.

Justice Sarkar took over the case from another judge against whom Mamata had levelled allegations of 'conflict of interest' in the wake of his alleged links with India's ruling BJP.

However, before quitting the case, Justice Kaushik Chanda fined Mamata with 5 lakh Indian rupees allegedly for her ‘preplanned move to malign a judge’.

On 2 May, Mamata pulled off a landslide victory in the assembly election for the third time in a row, staving off a massive challenge from prime minister Narendra Modi's BJP.

Rapid Action Force (RAF) try to controll All India Trinamool Congress party supporters shouting against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters as West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (not pictured) enters inside a polling station during the second phase of West Bengal's legislative elections in Nandigram on 1 April 2021

Though her Trinamool Congress party swept back to power with a resounding majority, Mamata lost her own seat in Nandigram to BJP's star campaigner Suvendu by a thin margin of 2,000 votes.

Last month, Mamata moved the high court to declare Suvendu's election win null.

"Suvendu Adhikari has indulged in several corrupt practices that have enhanced his winning chances and materially altered Mamata Banerjee's chances of success in the election," her petition read.

In her petition, Mamata also alleged discrepancies in the counting of votes, Mamata's lawyer had said.