TODAY -

Steps taken up for free and fair election: Addl CEO
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 27 2022: Additional CEO Mani-pur N Praveen has informed that necessary steps have been taken up to make the election free and fair and to prevent unwanted incidents from happening during the poll process.Addressing a press con-ference held at the Lamphel office of CEO Manipur on Thursday, Praveen said that as part of the measures taken up, the general population can-not carry along more than Rs 50,000 in cash without proof of ownership and purpose for use.

Carrying of cash above the limit without proper doc-umentations will be seized.

Candidates are also restricted from carrying more than Rs 50,000 cash as well as carrying of drugs, liquor, firearm, gift items or any oth-er illicit articles.

Any such articles found in the vehicles of the candidates could be seized by SST or enforcement agencies, who will provide seizure memo and submit the seized items to the court concerned within 24 hours.

Finding foreign currency or fake Indian currency in pos-session of the candidates will be investigated by enforce-ment directorate or income tax department.

Providing cash or gifts in relation with the election will be investigated and both the giver and receiver are lia-ble to get penalty as per law which include jail term for up to one year or fine or both.

There is also similar penalty for threatening or assaulting any candidate or individual in relation with election, he said.

Praveen further said that all the candidates and political parties are required to follow the extant rules for disclosure of criminal cases they are facing in their respective websites, local newspapers and television channels and informed that necessary steps have been taken up at the block level for providing special facilities for persons with disabilities and people about 80 years of age in the polling booths.

Identification of PwDs and elderly voters requiring postal ballots is in progress.

Five vans for valley areas and five for hill areas have been reserved along with wheelchairs and volunteers so that such electors who want to physically cast their votes can do so, the Additional CEO said while confiding that talks have been completed with the defence ministry and some private companies for providing air ambulance and helicopter services in case of emergency situa-tions.

There will be live webcast in 2400 polling stations and polling stations without necessary infrastructure for webcasting will have facility for offline video capture, he said and added that all necessary measures have been taken up to ensure no voters are left behind.

The additional CEO also briefed the media on the instruction of the ECI for information of the public regarding carrying/transportation/storing in any premise of cash and other valued items during the Assembly election.

He explained that a star campaigner shall be allowed to carry cash up to Rs 1,00,000 exclusively for his/her personal use.

A party functionary may carry cash provided certificate from the treasurer of the party mentioning the amount and its end use is produced when sought for and SST/enforcement agencies shall retain a copy of the certificate, he added.

He continued that if cash above Rs 10,00,000 is found in a vehicle and there is no suspicion of commission of any crime or linkage to any candidate or agent or party functionary, then SST/enforcement agencies shall not seize the cash but pass on the information to the Income Tax Authority for necessary action under Income Tax Laws.

A proper Panchnama/seizure docu-ment shall be issued for seizure of cash/items as per provisions of CrPC in prescribed format to the person(s) from whom such cash/items are seized.

Procedure of appeal against seizure should be mentioned in the Panchnama/seizure document(s) and should also inform the persons concerned at the time of seizure of cash/items.

With regard to the announcement of candidate by political parties, the additional CEO while quoting relevant directives of the Supreme Court of India & Election Commission of India pointed out the requirement for publication of information regarding candidate(s) with pending criminal cases along with reasons for such selections over other intending candidates without criminal antecedents.

Further, the information shall also have to be uploaded in the official website/social media plat-form of the political party concerned.

He further pointed out that compliance of the above by all political parties in the form of duly filled in Format C8 shall also have to be submitted to ECI within 72 hours of announcement of candidates.

Joint CEO Ramananda Nongmeikapam, OSD (election) N Ganesh, state nodal officer (transport manage-ment) Dr Mayengbam Veto Singh and assistant state nodal officer (expenditure management) Ngangbam Rajesh were also present at the press conference.


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