Election Model Code of Conduct : Use of school & College Grounds
Date : 16th January 2017
No.4/56/ELEC/PR/SAE-2017: The Election commission of India (ECl) vide press NotesNo.ECttpNtit2ol7 & No. ECllPNl2l2017 dated 04101l2o17has announced 2(two) phases of Poll Schedule forthe 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. 4in 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.
A. Use of school & Gollege Grounds for campaign purposes during election Process -
The Commission has decided to allow the use of school and college grounds for political meetings provided:
a) schools and colleges academic calendar is not disturbed under any circumstances.
b) The School/college Management has no objection-for this purpose and prior permission for "rJn cam[aigning is obtained from the school/college Management as well as Sub Divisional Officer'
c) such permission is granted on first-come-first served basis and no political party is allowed to monopolize the use of those grounds'
d) Any violation in the allotment of school/college grounds for political meetings will be viewed seriously by the Commission. The accountability in this regard lies with the Sub Divisional Officer, and
e) The political Parties and candidates and campaigners shall take care to ensure that the above norms are not violated'
2. The Commission further directs that, if such grounds are utilized for campaigning purpose it should be returned to the authority concerned, without any damage or with the requisite compensation for the damage caused, if any. Thb politicil party/parties restoring back the campaign ground to the concerned school/college auihority should be responsible for the payment of such compensation, if anY.
B. Generat Advisory to Political Parties:
The Armed Forces of a nation are the guardian of its frontiers, security and the political system. They are apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. lt is therefore necessary that the political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the Armed forces in their political campaigns. The Commission is of the view that photographs of Chief of Army Staff or any other defence personnel and photographs of functions of Defence forces should not be associated with or used in any manner in advertisement/propaganda/campaigning or in any other manner in connection with elections by Political Parties and candidates.
The Commission accordingly calls upon all the Political Parties to advise their candidates/leaders to desist from displaying photographs of Defence personnel or photographs of functions involving defence personnel in advertisements, or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning.
C. Use of national flag by political parties:
The Hon'ble High Court of Allahabad at Lucknow Bench disposed of the W.P. (PfL-Civil) (B) No. 603 of 2014 vide Order dated 3010112014 with the observation that there is no prohibition of proper use of national flag by political parties in rallies and that it is the bounden duty of the authorities concerned to ensure strict compliance and observation of the provisions of the Flag Code and the provisions of Emblem and names (Prevention of_lmproper use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of insults to National Honour Act 1e71
D. Election related campaign activities undertaken by persons other than political parties and candidates:
The Commission lays down the following guidelines to be observed in the matter of campaigns by organizations and persons other than political parties/candidates, during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in operation in connection with an election:
(i) They should not invoke, in any manner, religion or religious grounds in any manner, or any activities likely to create disharmony among different classes or groups of people, in their campaign. Such activities/ statements are prohibited being offences under various provisions of the law, like, section 125 of the Representation of the PeopleAct, 1951 sections 153A, 1538, 171C,295A, 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988.
(ii) They should not indulge in any activities or make any statements that would amount to attack on personal life of any person or statements that may be malicious or offending decency and morality.
(iii) when persons and organizations seek permission to hold public programmes, they should be asked to give a declaration/undertaking to abide by the above guidelines.
(i) The public programmes of such persons and organizations should be closely monitored through videography. lf anyone indulges in violation of the above guidelines' the state and district authorities concerned with the maintenance of proper law and order should take appropriate remedial and penal actions expeditiously in all such cases. Further, the District Administration shall ensure that such persons who violated the undertaking are not granted any permission to hold any further programmes during the period of that election.
(ii) lf the programmes involve incurring expense and amounts to directly promoting the electoral prospects of any particular candidate or candidaies, prioi special authority from the candidate concerned for incurring the expense shall be obtained in writing, as required under Section lTlH of the lPC, and such authorization should be submitted to the District Election officer within 48 hours. Any violation should result in action for prosecuting the person concerned.
(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 17 2017
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