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  1. PRESS RELEASE

    No. ECI/PN/58/2020                                         
    Dated: 11th September, 2020
    PRESS RELEASE
    In continuation of the detailed instructions dated 10.10.2018 and 6.3.2020  issued by ECI in the matter of publicity of criminal antecedents by the contesting candidates as well as by the political parties nominating such candidates, it was discussed at length in the Commission’s meeting today. Commission decided to further streamline the instructions concerning publicity of criminal antecedents by candidates concerned and by the political parties, who nominate them for elections. Commission has always emphasised on this moral yardstick for overall betterment of electoral democracy. 
    2. Highlights of the modified instructions are as follows:
    A.  Revised Timeline for Publicity 
    As per the revised guideline, the candidates as well as the political parties, regarding candidates nominated by them, will publish the details of criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and television in following manner: 
    (i) First publicity:       Within first 4 days of last date of withdrawal. (ii) Second publicity:   Within 5th to 8th day of last date of withdrawal (iii) Third publicity:       From 9th day till the last day of campaign, i.e. two days prior to date of poll) This timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in more informed manner.
    B. Regarding the publicity by uncontested winning candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them, it is clarified that uncontested winner candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties. 
    3. As decided by Commission, a Compendium of all instructions and formats issued so far, in this matter, is being published for the benefit of stakeholders. This will help in creating more awareness amongst the voters and other stakeholders.
    4. All instructions, in this regard, must be complied by the  contesting candidates with criminal antecedents and the political parties regarding their nominated candidates.
    5. These modified instructions shall apply with immediate effect.   

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  2. PRESS RELEASE

    No. ECI/PN/57/2020                                          
    Dated: 4th September, 2020
     
    PRESS RELEASE
    Commission meeting was held today regarding holding of  bye-elections due in various states. Presently, there are 65 clear vacancies due for bye-elections in Assembly/Parliamentary Constituency, out of which there are 64 vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of various states and 1(one) vacancy for Parliamentary Constituency.
    The Commission reviewed the reports and inputs from Chief Secretaries/ Chief Electoral Officers of many of the concerned states seeking deferment of the bye-elections in their states in view of several factors including the extra-ordinary heavy rains in some places and other constraints like pandemic etc.
    Considering that General Assembly Elections of Bihar are also due and required to be completed before 29th November 2020, Commission has decided to conduct all the 65 bye-elections and the General Assembly Elections of Bihar around the same time. One of the major factors in clubbing them together is the relative ease of movement of CAPF/ other law and order forces, and related logistics issues.
    Announcement of schedule of Bihar General Assembly Elections as well as these bye-elections will be done by the Commission at appropriate time.

    645 downloads

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  3. ECI formally welcomes Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar

    No. ECI/PN/56/2020                                           
    Dated: 3rd September, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI formally welcomes Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora, and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra, formally welcomed Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar in the Commission meeting today. Other officers of the Commission, including Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha, DECs, Directors and Senior Principal Secretaries were also present on the occasion. 
    Welcoming Shri Rajiv Kumar, the CEC recalled his rich administrative experience across a range of sectors, especially DoPT, Banking and Finance. He appreciated the path-breaking work done by Shri Rajiv Kumar in his earlier assignments. He said the Commission will be immensely benefited by his rich experience.
    CEC described the Election Commission as a unique family, which seamlessly co-opts the required support from Central and State Governments for the smooth conduct of elections, even while maintaining its distinctive identity. He reiterated the Commission’s resolve to uphold and strengthen the lofty objectives enshrined in the Constitution of India – especially the Preamble thereof. CEC also mentioned recent work done by the Commission, especially in the area of IT Applications, Accessibility and Inclusion etc. 
    In his welcome remarks, Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra recalled his earlier experience of working with Shri Kumar, and praised his clarity of thought and meticulous approach to work. 
    In his remarks, Shri Kumar thanked CEC Shri Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Chandra for the warm welcome to the ECI family, adding that he feels extremely privileged and humbled by this graceful gesture. He spoke of the importance of robust Institutions of governance, and said he will try to give his best to the Commission. 

    78 downloads

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  4. Shri Rajiv Kumar takes over as new Election Commissioner

    No. ECI/PN/55/2020                                            
    Dated: 1st September, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Shri Rajiv Kumar takes over as new Election Commissioner
    Shri Rajiv Kumar today assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Sh Kumar joins the Election Commission of India with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra.
    Born on 19th February 1960, Shri Rajiv Kumar is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service Officer.  During the span of more than 36 years of Government of India service, Shri Kumar has worked in various Ministries at the Centre and his state cadre of Bihar/Jharkhand. 

    Sh. Rajiv Kumar assuming charge as the new Election Commissioner of India
    Acquiring his academic degrees of B.SC, LL.B, PGDM and MA Public Policy, Shri Kumar has extensive work experience across Social Sector, Environment & Forests, Human Resources, Finance and Banking Sector. 
    He has keen commitment to use of technology applications and to bring about amendments in extant policy regime towards greater transparency, delivery
    of services to citizens directly, eliminating intermediaries. Sh Kumar retired as Finance Secretary, Government of India in February 2020. He was thereafter appointed as Chairman Public Enterprises Selection Board from April 2020 till demitting office on 31st August 2020.  Sh Kumar has also been Establishment Officer, Department of Personnel and Training from 2015-17 and prior to that Joint Secretary, Department of Expenditure with earlier assignments in Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Forests as also Education department in State cadre.
    Sh Rajiv Kumar is an avid trekker with keen interest in Indian classical and devotional music.

    330 downloads

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  5. ECI mourns passing away of Sh Pranab Mukherjee

    No. ECI/PN/54/2020                                                
    31st August 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI mourns passing away of Sh Pranab Mukherjee
    Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of Former President Sh Pranab Mukherjee.
    Expressing grief, Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora said  "In his demise, the nation has lost a widely respected savant and a Rajrishi known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of economic, constitutional and historical affairs."  
    Recalling Sh Pranab Mukherjee's specific association with  Election Commission of India, CEC Sh Arora said despite failing health Shri Pranab Mukherjee had graciously accepted ECI's invitation and delivered the first Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture, organised by ECI on 23rd January 2020. Shri Mukherjee, as President of the republic, had addressed ECI's National Voters Day event twice in 2016 and 2017. 
    "May God give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss", Sh Arora added.
     

    186 downloads

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  6. ECI bids farewell to Sh Ashok Lavasa ECI also releases Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a Compendium of Judgments

    No. ECI/PN/53/2020                                                  
    28th August 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI bids farewell to Sh Ashok Lavasa
    ECI also releases Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a Compendium of Judgments
    Election Commission of India today bade a warm farewell to outgoing Election Commissioner Sh Ashok Lavasa who is moving on to take up the prestigious assignment as Vice-President, Asian Development Bank at Manila, Philippines. Sh Ashok Lavasa had joined ECI as Election Commissioner on the 23rd of January 2018 and would hold the office of the Election Commission till 31st August 2020.

    Bidding him farewell, CEC Sh Sunil Arora wished Sh Ashok Lavasa the very best ahead for meeting bigger challenges and achieving more milestones. He mentioned that ECI’s loss is ADB’s gain where Sh. Lavasa's competence would now be available at the wider multilateral platform for the daunting task of restructuring economies in post-Covid scenario.
                On the occasion, Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra in his speech appreciated the  working of Sh. Ashok Lavasa in Ministry of Finance earlier. He specially applauded Sh Lavasa for his guidance in framing of broad guidelines for elections to be held in Covid times. 
    Sh. Ashok Lavasa said he would remember his two and a half year stint at the Commission as a memorable experience. He acknowledged that it was a difficult choice for him whether to continue in ECI or move on to the global canvas of ADB.
    The Commission also bid farewell to outgoing Director Sh Vikram Batra, Director Election Expenditure as he returns to his cadre after completing his term at Election Commission of India.
    Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a compendium of judgments delivered by Hon’ble Supreme Court and various High Courts from January 2017 to May 2019, that is, till the conclusion of Lok Sabha General Election 2019, was also released today. Commission released its e-version also https://eci.gov.in/ebooks/landmark-judgment/index.html for wider reach. It consists of 29 significant judgments covering various aspects of electoral process like nomination, affidavit, EVM VVPAT, Model Code of Conduct, corrupt practices and other related matters. This volume also lists the judgments already published by ECI in previous five volumes of Landmark Judgments. Additionally, the volume also lists 632 cases filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Hon’ble High Courts during the period leading to General Election, 2019.
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora in his message said “I harbour the sanguine hope that this publication would further illuminate us about the domain of election law and embolden the officials concerned to execute the gigantic exercise by taking solace in the fact that their actions have consistently earned the approbation of judiciary.”
    Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner, in his message said “This volume will broaden understanding of the laws governing the vast electoral exercise of our country.”
    Sh. Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner, in his remarks hoped that this volume will benefit all citizens of the country in understanding the election process.
     

    166 downloads

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  7. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/52/2020                                         
    Dated: 24th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    1. Election Commission of India issued an Order No. 23/SEC/2008/ERS dated 10th December, 2008 wherein guidelines’ regarding sharing of electoral roll and EPIC data base with various Government departments was laid down.  The copy of the guidelines is enclosed.  Thereafter, ECI issued further instructions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) on 16 July 2020 stating, inter alia, that the State Election Commissions (SECs) shall also not share the ER database provided by the CEOs to any other organisation/agency.
    2. It is hereby clarified in view of the anecdotal reports which are not based on empirical facts that the Commission has not in any way deviated from the original guidelines of 2008 and clarificatory orders of 2020 in any manner. 
    3. It also needs to be stated that as far as criminal investigations by regulatory departments/enforcement agencies is concerned, it is under their own extant Acts, Rules and guidelines, which in any case can be challenged in the Hon’ble Courts of law. In fact, the entire super structure of criminal justice system is erected on this.  It is only when the Model Code of Conduct is enforced that Election Commission invariably takes note of any such event(s)/incident(s), which have the potential of disturbing and/or disrupting the smooth conduct of electoral process and ECI does not interfere in the day to day functioning of the regulatory departments/enforcement agencies. However, if any political entity/individual brings to the notice of the Commission any particular instance which has the potential of disturbing electoral process, the Commission has the well established mechanism of seeking inputs from the CEOs, General Observers, Police Observers and Expenditure Observers during this time and necessary action is taken as per the reports of these functionaries. 
    4. There have been many instances during the last Lok Sabha /Vidhan Sabha Elections wherein very senior functionaries have been removed/relocated from the senior most positions in the State Governments in such eventualities.
     

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  8. New office premises for Delimitation Commission inaugurated

    No. ECI/PN/51/2020 
    Dated: 24th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE 
     New office premises for Delimitation Commission inaugurated
    New office premises for Delimitation Commission was opened by Justice Mrs. Ranjana Desai, Chairperson, Delimitation Commission today in the august presence of Sh. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner, and Sh. Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner and Member, Delimitation Commission. This office is located on Third Floor of Hotel Ashoka. It has requisite spaces including a Conference Hall with video conferencing facilities.
    Delimitation Commission has already started functioning since March, 2020. It has held four formal meetings as yet. All Associate Members have already been nominated for each State/ Union Territory concerned. The Commission has kept 15th June 2020 as the date for freezing of administrative districts in these States/ UTs. Data collection work has also been completed. With the opening of this new office, it is hoped that formal deliberations with Associate Members would start soon to expedite the process of delimitation as envisaged. 
    Senior officers of Election Commission, CMD NBCC and officers from ITDC were also present on the occasion.

    170 downloads

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  9. Press Note

    Election Commission of India approved the broad guidelines for conduct of general/bye elections during COVID-19 period. These are available at
    https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12167-guidelines-for-conduct-of-general-electionbye-election-during-covid-19/ 

    1,266 downloads

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  10. Election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh -reg.

    No: ECI/PN/49/2020  
    Dated 21st August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:       Bye Election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh -reg.
                    There is one casual vacancy in the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Uttar Pradesh
    Shri Amar Singh
    Death
    01.08.2020
    04.07.2022
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh to fill up the above said vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    25th August, 2020 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    01st September, 2020 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    02nd September, 2020 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    04th September, 2020 (Friday)
      Date of Poll
    11th September, 2020 (Friday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    11th September, 2020 (Friday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    14th September, 2020 (Monday)
    3       The Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.

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  11. Press Release

    No: ECI/PN/48/2020                                  
    Dated 18th August, 2020
     
    Press Release
    The matter of issuing broad guidelines for General/Bye Elections during COVID-19 period was discussed in the Commission meeting today. Commission considered the views/suggestions given by the Political Parties. It also considered the suggestions/recommendations made by Chief Electoral Officers of States/UTs. After considering all these, Commission directed to frame broad guidelines, taking into account MHA/MOHFW guidelines on COVID-19, within three days. Commission directed that on the basis of these guidelines, Chief Electoral Officers of the election going States shall also prepare a comprehensive plan for State/district concerned for COVID-19 related measures, keeping in view, the local conditions,  during the conduct of elections.    
     

    430 downloads

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  12. Webinar Organised On Technology Aspects of Remote Voting

    No. ECI/PN/47/2020 
    Dated: 11th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
     Webinar Organised On Technology Aspects of Remote Voting
    Election Commission of India, in partnership with Tamil Nadu e-governance Agency organized a webinar on “Technology aspects of remote voting: Exploring Block chain” on 10th August 2020.  The webinar brought together technologists, academicians, policy practitioners, cyber security experts from India and around the world. The initial idea for using block chain based voting solution emerged from an initial discussion of Chief Election Commissioner, Sh Sunil Arora, during his visit to Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on 30th October 2019. 
    Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra delivered the keynote address in the webinar. Sh Chandra stressed upon the importance of ensuring greater “inclusiveness in elections.” He emphasized that a large number of voters are unable to exercise their franchise on account of a geographical barrier. By virtue of occupation, education, medical treatment or other reasons, there have been instances of current residence of such electors being different from the place of registration in electoral rolls. Sh Chandra however emphasised that in designing a technology based solution, the primary consideration should be the ability to “inspire trust of all stakeholders, assure integrity of electoral process and secrecy and inviolability of ballot.” Political parties, he felt, need to be reassured that the system is tamper proof and secure. Remote voting, Sh Chandra said, marks a departure from conventional polling station, which was tied to a geographical location. However, he clarified that the Commission is not envisioning internet based voting from home. Remote voting project aspires for enablement of voters residing in remote locations, away from their designated polling stations, to cast ballot in a secured fashion. Sh Chandra expressed optimism that deliberations amongst experts will help the Commission in designing a robust remote voting model which is more inclusive and empowering. 
    More than 800 people signed up for the webinar from around the world. Speakers drew upon global experience of blockchain technology, dwelling upon possibilities of scalability; issues of data privacy and regulation; data security; authentication and verifiability. The webinar was addressed by Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Director of IIT Bhilai, Prof Rajat Moona, Director of IIT Madras, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi. Sandra Ro, CEO of Global Blockchain Business council, Monique Bachner, Member of International Association for Trusted Blockchain applications, Ismael Arribas, President of Kunfud Spanish chapter of Government Blockchain application also addressed different sessions. 
    The webinar was convened by Deputy Election Commissioner, Sh Ashish Kundra, in charge of the IT division, ECI as part of a wider consultation exercise with various stakeholders to dwell on different aspects of remote voting. 

    130 downloads

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  13. Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/46/2020
    Dated: 30thJuly, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
     Sub:-          Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members ofLegislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
    There is one casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follow: 
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sri MopideviVenkataRamanaRao
    By MLAs
    Resignation
    on 01.07.2020
    29.03.2023
     2. The Commission, has decided to hold a bye-election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancyas per the following schedule: - 
    S.No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.     
    Issue of Notifications
    06th August, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.     
    Last Date of making nominations
    13th August, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.     
    Scrutiny of nominations
    14th August, 2020 (Friday)
    4.     
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th August, 2020 (Monday)
    5.     
    Date of Poll
    24th August, 2020 (Monday)
    6.     
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.     
    Counting of Votes
    24th August, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.     
    Date before which election shall be completed
    26th August, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.

    131 downloads

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  14. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/45/2020
    Dated: 30th July, 2020 
    Press Note
    Subject:      Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala -reg.
      There are two casual vacancies in the Council of States one each from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Uttar Pradesh
    Beni Prasad Verma
    Death
    27.03.2020
    04.07.2022
    Kerala
    M.P. Veerendra Kumar
    Death
    28.05.2020
    02.04.2022
    2.  The Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala to fill up the above said vacancies in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    06th August, 2020 (Thursday)
      Last date of making nominations
    13th August, 2020 (Thursday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    14th August, 2020 (Friday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th August, 2020 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    24th August, 2020 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    24th August, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    26th August, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretaries concerned to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.

    112 downloads

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  15. Clarification regarding bye-elections

    No. ECI/PN/44/2020                                                 
    Dated: 23rd July, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Clarification regarding bye-elections
    This is with reference to letter No.99/bye-election/2020/EPS dated 22.7.2020 issued by Shri Sumit Mukherjee, Sr. Pr. Secretary in the Commission. This is causing some confusion in some sections of media. It is hereby clarified that the aforesaid communication is only in respect of eight constituencies regarding which a reference to Ministry of Law & Justice was made vide letter No. 99/bye-election/2020/EPS dated 03.7.2020 due to some extraordinary circumstances peculiar to these constituencies. However, the total number of bye-elections due is 56 Assembly Constituencies (including the eight referred to earlier) besides one Parliamentary Constituency. Out of these total number of 57 bye-elections, it is hereby clarified that the Commission has already taken a decision to hold all bye-election as per provisions of Section 151A of the R.P. Act, 1951. In any case the deferring of aforementioned eight bye-elections is only up to 7th September, 2020. This matter of timing etc. of bye-elections is also slotted for discussion in the Election Commission Meeting to be held tomorrow, i.e., 24.7.2020.
     
     
     
     
     

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  16. Commission decides not to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and by elections due in near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of Covid-19    

    No. ECI/PN/43/2020  
    Date: 16th July, 2020
     
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Commission decides not to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and by elections due in near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of Covid-19             
    In view of COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown guidelines have been issued in the country from time to time by National Disaster Management Authority, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. In the guideline dated 17.05.2020, issued by Union Home Secretary and Chairperson National Executive Committee, constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005,  it has been specified vide para 7 that,
    “Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.”  
    Simultaneously, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare prescribed detailed procedure of quarantine (Home/Institutional) for COVID-19 positive/suspect persons vide its instructions dated 05.04.2020 and 18.05.2020. 
    2. Considering this extraordinary situation, Commission had recommended extension of optional postal ballot facilities to voters above 65 years in order to minimize their vulnerability and exposure at the Polling stations and to Covid positive voters and voters under quarantine so that they are not deprived of their voting rights. On the recommendation of the Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice notified the amended rules accordingly on 19.06.2020. However, before implementing this enabling provision, due notification is issued by the Commission, under section 60(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 at the time of election. Before implementing these enabling provisions, Commission continually assesses the field situation and logistics of operationalization. 
    3.    Commission has been constantly monitoring the electoral preparedness for the coming by-elections and General elections of Assembly in Bihar, in view of this unprecedented environment. Commission has already limited the number of electors to one thousand for each polling station for ease of voting, especially for elderly and vulnerable sections of electors, in COVID-19 situations. In view of this, the State is creating additional 34,000 (approximately) polling stations (45% more), which will increase the total number of polling stations to around 1,06,000. This would entail formidable logistical challenges of mobilizing 1.8 lakh more polling personnel and other additional resources including requirement of much larger number of vehicles in the State of Bihar. Similar challenges would be there for the coming by-elections also.  
    4.     Considering all these issues, challenges and constraints and in view of the decision to limit the number of electors at each polling station to 1000, Commission has decided not to issue the notification to extend the facility of postal ballot to the electors above 65 years of age in the coming General Elections in Bihar and by- elections due in the near future. However, facility of optional postal ballot to electors who are above 80 years of age, PwD Voters, the electors engaged in essential services and voters who are COVID-19 positive/suspect in quarantine (home/institutional) will be extended in these elections.
     
     

    234 downloads

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  17. Press Note dated 16/06/2020

    No. ECI/PN/42/2020                                      
    Dated: 16th June, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    A meeting of full Election Commission comprising Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and two Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, assisted by senior officers of the Commission, was held today. Amongst other issues, the Commission discussed the matter of taking cognizance of complaints of false affidavits filed by some candidates along with their nominations, which adversely affects the rights of voters as well as impinges on the purity of electoral process.
    The exercise of informed franchise is a foundational requirement for free and fair elections. In People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India (2003) 4 SCC 399 (PUCL case), Hon’ble Supreme Court observed: “..the foundation of a healthy democracy is to have well-informed citizens-voters.”  In this case, the Apex Court further observed: “A little man – a citizen – a voter is the master of his vote. He must have necessary information so that he can intelligently decide in favour of a candidate who satisfies his criterion of being elected as an MP or MLA.” The voter has a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution to know about the candidates at an election. The genesis of the disclosure requirements, now incorporated in Form 26, appended to the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 was the case of Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms (2002) 5 SCC 294. 
    In his/her affidavit, a candidate discloses (i) criminal antecedents; (ii) assets and liabilities; and (iii) educational qualifications. Subsequently, Commission in 2013, decided that the assets and liabilities of the candidates, as filed in their affidavits, would be verified by Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT).
    Filing of false affidavits by candidates during the nomination process, in terms of false or incomplete information,  is a key challenge as it undermines the rights of voters to be fully informed about their political representatives. Supreme Court in catena of judgments (Resurgent India v. Election Commission of India, 2014 14 SCC 189; Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora 2020 SCC online SC178) has held the truthful disclosure of all relevant information by a candidate as integral to the electoral process and any denial or false disclosure would tantamount to vitiating the integrity of elections. 
     Commission views the erosion of this fundamental right as an affront to the democratic ideals which underpin the system of government. Furnishing false information in election affidavits is a devious design to defeat the right of the voter to be informed and transparency in elections. The Commission has today decided to robustly address this challenge to further ensure free, fair and ethical elections in the country.
    Commission has been receiving complaints regarding furnishing of false information in the affidavits of some candidates. As per the extant provision, individuals are filing such complaints in the competent court under section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951. Now, Commission has reviewed this position  and decided that, in pursuit of a level-playing field, it will take cognisance of complaints, which indicate serious omission on the part of the candidate, and refer such matters to the relevant investigating authorities on a case-to-case basis.

    854 downloads

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  18. Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/41/2020
    Dated: 15thJune, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
     Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members ofLegislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.
     There is one casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follow:
     
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sri DokkaManikyaVara Prasad
    By MLAs
    Resignation on 09.03.2020
    29.03.2023
     
    2.           The Commission, after receiving inputs from CEO, Andhra Pradesh, has decided to hold a bye-election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancyas per the following schedule: -
     
    S.No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.    
    Issue of Notifications
    18th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.    
    Last Date of making nominations
    25th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.    
    Scrutiny of nominations
    26th June, 2020 (Friday)
    4.    
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    29th June, 2020 (Monday)
    5.    
    Date of Poll
    06th July, 2020 (Monday)
    6.    
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm
    7.    
    Counting of Votes
    06th July, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.    
    Date before which election shall be completed
    08th July, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure free and fair election.
    4.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.

    192 downloads

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  19. Biennial Election to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/40/2020 
    Dated: 15thJune, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Biennial Election to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
     The term of 09 members of the Bihar Legislative Council elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) has expired on 06.05.2020. Details are given as under:
    S.No.
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    1.            
    Ashok Choudhary
     
     
     
     
    06.05.2020
    2.            
    Krishan Kumar Singh
    3.            
    Prashant Kumar Shahi
    4.            
    Sanjay Prakash
    5.            
    Satish Kumar
    6.            
    Radha Mohan Sharma
    7.            
    Sonelal Mehta
    8.            
    Md. Haroon Rashid
    9.            
    Hira Prasad Vind
     
    2.      Considering the prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency due to COVID-19 and the guidelines & orders passed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 by the competent authority, the Election Commission, on 03.04.2020 passed an Order under Article 324 of Constitution of India read with section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,and directed that the process of election to the abovementioned seats shall be initiated at a later date after reviewing the prevailing situation.
     3.       The Commission, after receiving inputs from CEO, Bihar,has now decided that above mentioned biennial election to the Bihar Legislative Council by members of Legislative Assembly be held in accordance with the following programme:
     
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.    
    Issue of Notification
    18th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.    
    Last Date of making nominations
    25th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.    
    Scrutiny of nominations
    26th June, 2020 (Friday)
    4.    
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    29th June, 2020 (Monday)
    5.    
    Date of Poll
    06th July, 2020 (Monday)
    6.    
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.    
    Counting of Votes
    06th July, 2020 (Monday)at 05:00 pm
    8.    
    Date before which election shall be completed
    08th July, 2020 (Wednesday)
     
    4.       Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure free and fair election.
    5.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.

    294 downloads

    Submitted

  20. Biennial Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/39/2020
    Dated: 9thJune, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
     Biennial Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
     The term of 07 members of Karnataka Legislative Council elected by the members of respective Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 30.06.2020. Details are given as under: -
    S.No.
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    1.            
    Naseer Ahmed
     
     
     
    30.06.2020
    2.            
    Jayamma
    3.            
    M.C. Venugopal
    4.            
    N.S. Bose Raju
    5.            
    H.M. Revanna
    6.            
    T.A. Sharavana
    7.            
    D.U. Mallikarjuna
     
    2.      The Commission, after receiving inputs from CEO, Karnataka has decided that above mentioned biennial elections to the Karnataka Legislative Council by members of Legislative Assembly be held in accordance with the following programme:
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.    
    Issue of Notification
    11th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.    
    Last Date of making nominations
     
    18th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.    
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th June, 2020 (Friday)
    4.    
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
     
    22nd June, 2020 (Monday)
    5.    
    Date of Poll
    29th June, 2020 (Monday)
    6.    
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.    
    Counting of Votes
    29th June, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.    
    Date before which election shall be completed
     
    30th June, 2020 (Tuesday)
             3.       Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure free and fair election.
    4.     Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.

    231 downloads

    Submitted

  21. Biennial Elections to the Council of States to fill the seats of members retiring between June to July 2020-reg.

    Biennial Elections to the Council of States to fill the seats of  members retiring between June to July 2020-reg.
     



    323 downloads

    Submitted

  22. ANNOUNCEMENT OF DATE OF POLL AND COUNTING OF VOTES FOR DEFERRED RAJYA SABHA POLL

    No. ECI/PN/37/2020                                     
     Dated: 1st June, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ANNOUNCEMENT OF DATE OF POLL AND COUNTING OF VOTES FOR DEFERRED RAJYA SABHA POLL 
    On 25.02.2020, Election Commission of India announced elections to the Council of States to fill 55 seats of Members from 17 States, retiring in the month of April,2020, which were notified vide Notification No. 318/CS-Multi/2020(1) dated 06.03.2020. After the last date of withdrawal on 18.03.2020, respective Returning Officers declared 37 seats from 10 States filled in uncontested. Further, as per the reports received from the concerned Returning Officers, the biennial elections for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan were to be conducted on 26.03.2020 (Thursday) and the date before which election was to be completed as earlier announced by the Commission was 30.03.2020 (Monday) as per the notification dated 06.03.2020.
    2. Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 specifies that the Election Commission for reasons which it considers sufficient, may extend the time for the completion of any election by making necessary amendments in the notification issued by it under section 30 or sub-section (1) of section 39 of the said Act. Accordingly, considering the prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency due to COVID-19 and related advisories in the country, the Election Commission, vide its press note, dated 24.03.2020, deferred the poll and extended the period of said election under the provisions of section 153 of the said Act and decided that the announcement of fresh date of poll and counting for the said biennial elections will be made by the ECI after reviewing the prevailing situation. The Press Note also specified that the list of contesting candidates already published for the said election by the respective Returning Officers, is to remain valid for the purpose of remaining activities as was prescribed under the said notification (dated 06.03.2020).
    3. Now, Commission has reviewed the matter in detail. Considering all factors, including the guidelines dated 30.05.2020 issued by Union Home Secretary and Chairman, national Executive Committee (NEC) under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, and taking into account the inputs obtained from the Chief Electoral Officers concerned, the Commission has decided that the date of poll and counting of votes in respect of the biennial elections for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh (4 seats), Gujarat (4 seats), Jharkhand (2 seats), Madhya Pradesh (3 seats), Manipur (1 seat), Meghalaya (1 seat) and Rajasthan (3 seats) shall be as per the following schedule:  
    Events
    Date
    Date of Poll
    19th June, 2020 (Friday)
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    Counting of Votes
    19th June, 2020 (Friday) at 05:00 pm
    Date before which election shall be completed.         
    22th June, 2020 (Monday)
    4. Commission has also decided that the Chief Secretaries shall depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.
    5. Further Commission has appointed Chief Electoral Officer concerned as Observer for the election in the respective State.

    455 downloads

    Submitted

  23. ECI sets up Committee to examine details of Gujarat HC judgement concerning Dholka AC Direction had already been conveyed to State Government to initiate disciplinary action against the then Returning Officer.

    No. ECI/PN/36/2020                                                 
    Dated: 12th May, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI sets up Committee to examine details of Gujarat HC judgement concerning Dholka AC
    Direction had already been conveyed to State Government to initiate disciplinary action against the then Returning Officer.
     
    Consequent upon the judgement of Hon’ble High Court in the Election Petition concerning Dholka AC in Gujarat today, Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora  has, after discussion with Secretary General, ECI, on telephone, directed  that a three member committee of officers will examine the details of the judgement and present the same before the Commission at the earliest.
    The Committee shall be headed by Shri Umesh  Sinha, Secretary General, ECI, and consist of two officers, Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner and Shri Vijay Pandey, Director, Law,  as members. 
    In this matter, on behest of the Commission, a direction had already been conveyed to the State Government of Gujarat to initiate disciplinary action against the then Returning Officer Mr Dhaval Jani, Deputy Collector. The proceedings are underway.
    Mr Jani was also removed from election duties during the Lok Sabha elections in view of the interim order of the Hon’ble High Court in the matter.

    386 downloads

    Submitted

  24. Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Councils by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)

    No. ECI/PN/35/2020                                                  
    Dated: 1st May, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Councils by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)
     
    Election Commission today reviewed the matter concerning feasibility of conduct of biennial election for the 9 vacant seats of the MLC by MLAs in the state of Maharashtra. Shri Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner joined the meeting with Shri Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner and Shri Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner over video call (from USA).
    2. 9 seats of MLC by MLAs became vacant on 24 April 2020 in Maharashtra (Annexure A). ECI on 03 April 2020 issued an order under Article 324 to defer the elections till further orders in view of COVID-19 circumstances. 
    3. Election Commission has received a letter dated 30th April, 2020 of Chief Secretary, Maharashtra in which, the CS has pointed out the various measures taken to control pandemic and that in the State Government’s assessment, elections to the 9 seats of MLC by MLAs could be held in a safe environment. State Government has assured the Commission that the State Government is fully committed to ensuring that the said elections are held in total hygienic conditions with social distancing measures and other conditions imposed by the competent authorities.
    Citing the Union Home Ministry’s order dated 29th April 2020 concerning permitting the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded due to lock-down orders,  State Government has reiterated that it will facilitate and ensure that the elections are conducted by following all directions in the matter.
    4. Commission also received a DO letter dated 30th April 2020 of Hon’ble Governor, Maharashtra addressed to the CEC indicating the feasibility of conducting elections in the State. In this connection, Governor Maharashtra has also mentioned that Shri Udhav Balasaheb Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 28th November, 2019 and pointed out that as per constitutional provisions he has to become a member of either the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council within a period of six months i.e. on or before the 27th May, 2020. He has further stated that the ground level situation is contained and as of now appears to be improving with several relaxations being made by the Government. Hence keeping in view, the entire situation, the Election Commission has been requested to consider working out modalities to hold elections.
    5. Commission also took note of representations from various political parties– the Maharashtra Vidhanmandal Congress Paksh, the Shiv Sena VidhiMandal Paksh and, the Rashtravadi Congress Party requesting Commission to conduct the said election, the schedule of which was deferred due to force majeure conditions. 
    6. While taking note of all the above, Commission reviewed the past precedents in such unforeseen situations.  In cases of former Prime Ministers Sh. P.V Narasimha Rao in 1991  and Sh. HD Deve Gowda in 1996;  and several Chief Ministers of states (like Sh. Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister Rajasthan in 1991; Smt Rabri Devi, Chief Minister Bihar in 1997, Sh, Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1993, Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh & 4 Ministers in 2017,  and Chief Minister  Nagaland in 2017), Commission conducted by-elections to fulfil similar constitutional requirement. Commission noted that this has been the consistent practice in the past. 
    7. After taking all these into consideration, Commission has decided to conduct the said biennial election in the State of Maharashtra. The details of schedule of the election is attached at Annexure B.
    8. Commission also decided that the Union Home Secretary, who is Chairperson of National Executive Committee in ex-officio capacity under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, should depute an officer of suitable seniority  to ensure that the preventive measures are put in place in keeping with the provisions of the said Act for the smooth conduct of the electoral process for the said election.
    9. Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary to depute an officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.
    10. Further Commission has appointed Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra as Observer for this election. 
    11. Commission also decided to review other deferred elections in the next week. 

    1,084 downloads

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  25. CEC & ECs to contribute to Covid Funding in the form of voluntary reduction of thirty percent of their basic salary from ECI for one year

    No. ECI/PN/34/2020    
    Dated: 13th April, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    CEC & ECs to contribute to Covid Funding in the form of voluntary reduction of thirty percent of their basic salary from ECI for one year
     
    At present, the country, as the rest of the world, is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic. It is evident that Government along with other agencies is engaged in the mammoth task of controlling the spread of this pandemic and taking various measures to manage and minimize its impact on public health and the national economy. The numerous steps being taken by the Government and Civil Society organisations  require vast resources for which contribution from all sources, including reducing the burden of salaries on the exchequer, might be helpful. 
    In view of the foregoing, Commission has decided to contribute in the form of voluntary reduction of thirty per cent in the basic salary paid by the Election Commission of India to Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sh Ashok Lavasa and Sh Sushil Chandra for a period of one year commencing 1st April, 2020.
     
     
     

    501 downloads

    Submitted

  

ECI Main Website

ECI Main websiteThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. 

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