TODAY -

Election Model Code of Conduct : Use of Loudspeakers for election
Date : 15th January 2017



No.4/56/ELEC/PR/SAE-2017: The Election commission of India (ECl) vide press NotesNo.ECvpNfitzolT & No. ECI/PN/2/2017 dated 0410112017has announced 2(two) phases of Poll Schedule for the General Elections to the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly and with the announcement of Election Schedule by the Election Commission, the Model Code of Conduct came into effect w.e.f. 4ih January,2017 and applies to the whole of Manipur State and applicable to all candidates, political parties, the state and Union Government as far as Manipur State is concerned.

Campaigning

A. Use of Loudspeakers for election campaigns'Consolidated instructions

All political parties, candidates and their workers, supporters and sympathizers are using loudspeakers for their electioneering campaigns' These loudspeakers are not only used from fixed rostrums but. are also used mounted/fitted on vehicles like trucks, tempos, cars, taxis, vans, three wheeler scooters, cycle rickshaws, etc. These vehicles move on all roads, streets and lanes and also so around villages, basties, Mohallas, colonies and localities with the loudspeakers broadcasting at very great volume. This results in serious ,noise pollution' and causes great disturbance to the peace and tranquility of the general public. The student community, in particular, gets seriously disturbed as their studies are badly hampered because the loudspeakers stall blaring from very early hours in the morning and continue to do so throughout the day and till extremely late hours in the night. The aged, the infirm and the sick whether in institutions, hospitals, etc. or at home are also put to severe discomfort'

2.. The Commission is aware that the use of loudspeakers cannot be stopped altogether during the election period as the loudspeakers are one of the means of election propaganda and imparting information to public. But. at the same time, indiscriminate and unfettered use of loudspeaker at odd hours and at odd places at verY high volumes which have the effect of disturbing peace and tranquillity and causlng annoyance to the general public, the sick, and the student communitY in particular cannot be permitted. Some reasonable restrictions are essential.

3. After considering all aspects of the matter, the Commission, in exercise of its powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution and all other powers enabling it in this behalf and in supersession of its earlier instructions, hereby DIRECTS that the use of loudspeakers at all future elections shall be strictly regulated as follows:-

(i) The use of loudspeakers, whether fitted on vehicles of any kind whatsoever, or in static position used for public meetings for electioneering purposes, during the entire election period starting from the date of announcement of election and ending with the date of declaration of results shall be permitted only (a) between 6.00 a.m. and 11.00 p'm in rural areas i.e. areas outside corporation or municipal Limits: and (b) between 6'00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. in other areas, i.e. areas falling within corporation or municipal limits.

(ii) All loudspeakers whether used for general propaganda or for public meetings or procession, and whether used on moving vehicles or otherwise' shall be used during the restricted hours only mentioned in clauses (ii) above and never beYond.

(iii) All loudspeaker being used beyond the hours as prescribed above, shall be confiscated along with all the apparatus connected with the use of these loudsPeakers'

(iv) All political parties, candidates and any other persons using any loudspeakers on moving vehicles including but not restricted to trucks, tempos, cars, taxis, VanS, three wheeler sggoters, Cycle rickshaws, etc' shall intimate the registration identification number of those vehicles to the authorities gttnting permission to use the loudspeakers and such registration identification numbers of the vehicles shall be indicated on the permits granted by the authorities concerned'

(v) Any vehicle on which a loudspeaker is used without the said written permit shall be confiscated forthwith along with the loudspeaker and all the apparatus used along with it.

(vi) All political parties, candidates and even other person using any loudspeaker either on a moving vehicle or at a fixed place shall intimate -

(1) the Returning Officer of the Constituency, and

1)j tocat police luthorities, in writing, the full details of the permits obtained by them before using any of those loudspeakers' ln the case of ronit" loudspeakers, the registration identification numbers of the vehicles shall also be registered by them with the Returning Officer and the local Police authorities'

(vii) lt shall be the responsibility of the state Government authorities granting permits for use of loudspeakers and the local Police authorities to strictly enforce that no loudspeaker is used by anyone in violation of any of the above directions,

4. No loudspeakers fitted on vehicles of any kind or in any other manner whatsoever shall be permitted to be used during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll in any polling area' Even after the close of poll proper law and order is required to be maintained till completion of election after the declaration of result. Use of loudspeakers is generally regarded as source of public nuisance and can often give rise to tension in a politically surcharged atmosphere. The District Administrations should, therefore, consider any application for permission to use loudspeakers after the aforesaid prohibitory period of 48 hours, on merit of each application and keeping in view the need to maintain proper law and order till the completion of election.

B. Restrictions on presence of political functionaries in a Constituency after the CamPaign Period is over

Under Section 126 of the' Representation of the People Act, 1951, in the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of poll, the campaign will come to an end.

2. During the course of campaign in bye -election, the political parties mobillze their supporters, including from outside the constituency of poll, in order to bolster that campaign. In view of the fact that the closure of campaign period no camping period no campaign can take place within the constituency, presence of political functionaries/party workers/procession functionaries/campaign functionaries etc., who have been brought from outside the constituency and who are not voters of the constituency, should not continue to remain present In the constituency aS their continued presence after campaign ends may undermine the atmosphere for free and fair poll.

3. Hence the Commission has directed that after the campaign period is over, the district election administration/police administration shall ensure that all such functionaries leave the constituency immediately after the campaign period is over, This shall be brought to the notice of all political parties, candidates and their agents in order them to comply'

4. The Commission further directs that in order to ensure that the above instruction is carried out, the election administration/police may take all necessary measures which may include:

1. Checking of kalian mandapams/ community halls etc., where such people ire kept housed and find out whether the outsiders have been accommodated in these Premises.

2, Verification of lodges and guesthouses to keep a track of the list of occuPants.

3. Set up check-posts in the constituency borders and track the vehicular movement from outside the constituency.

4. Verify the identity of the people/group of people in order to find out whether they are voters or not and establish their identity.

(Vivek Kumar Dewangan)
Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by DIPR , Manipur who can be contacted at diprmanipur(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Post is webcasted on January 16 2017

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