Deployment of ECI Special Team to assist CEO West Bengal.

Deployment of ECI Special Team to assist CEO West Bengal.

There has been news reports published in some newspapers quoting that ECI to deploy Special Team for the first time in West Bengal, which is misinterpretative and misrepresentative of the fact and instructions issued by the Commission. The Commission has been sending teams to different States during the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections based on the need in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officers of the State.

Election Commission of India has decided to send five Special teams to assist CEO West Bengal and the Commission in assessing the preparedness of the electoral machinery at the grass root level. The visit of such teams will be for period as determined by ECI in consultation with Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal and see the performance of ECI direction at grass root level by Official machinery.

At District level, the teams will interact closely with the District Magistrates/ District Election Officers and the Superintendents of Police

The Special Teams will take inputs from the CEO, West Bengal beforehand district wise and make a visit to the districts. On their return, they will give their feedback to the CEO and to the Commission. The Special Teams are being sent in batches to Assam and West Bengal. The other teams will also visit to other poll going states in the near future.


News Items on conduct of raid by Election Commission’s officials in Assam

There has been news reports published in some newspapers quoting that the Expenditure Observer deployed by the Election Commission of India conducted a search at the residence of a sitting Minister in Assam on 16th March 2016.

The Commission has verified the facts and has received a report from the Income Tax Department, Assam. A factual report has also been received from the Expenditure Observer. It has been ascertained that the Search and Seizure operation had been conducted independently by the Income Tax Department under the provisions of the Income Tax Act on receipt of intelligence from other independent agency. Meanwhile the Expenditure Observer deployed by the Commission had activated the Flying Squad as a part of follow up action, following the information received from the Income Tax department.

In the present case, the Expenditure Observer has transgressed his jurisdiction by reaching at the spot himself and acted against the instructions of the Election Commission. The Commission does not authorise any of its observers to carry out any such enforcement activities by himself/herself . The observers on receiving such information are required to pass on the same to enforcement agencies for appropriate actions and continue monitoring the taken as laid down in the Manual of ECI.

The Commission has viewed this lapse by Expenditure Observer seriously and has withdrawn him from constituency forthwith and instructed the controlling authority to initiate suitable departmental action against him. All Observers have been directed to perform their actions within the prescribed framework as laid down by ECI manual. 

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