Paying attention to some incidents of “victimisation” of state chief electoral officers and different election officers within the post-election interval on flimsy grounds, the Election Fee has directed all states to hunt its prior approval earlier than initiating any disciplinary motion in opposition to such officers throughout their tenure, as additionally as much as one 12 months after completion of their stint with the ballot panel.
In a letter addressed to the cupboard secretary and chief secretaries of all states and union territories on Thursday, the EC stated it has famous some incidents of “victimisation” of CEOs and extra, joint, deputy and assistant CEOs within the post-election interval.
“Many a instances they’re focused for political vendetta by charging them with disciplinary instances on flimsy grounds for his or her earlier tenures within the state authorities after the completion of their tenure. An setting of worry is created to convey that the upright, steadfast and honest officers might be taken to process at any time, on the flimsiest of the grounds,” the Fee famous.
It stated in such a state of affairs, these officers usually are not solely “demotivated but additionally their morale is vastly lowered, which severely have an effect on their efforts to make sure free and honest elections”.
“Left to go on unfettered, it causes a state of affairs the place officers are reluctant to hitch as CEOs and people who are inducted face the uncertainty of honest remedy in post-election part,” it noticed.
The EC stated it’s of thought of view that optimistic safety to election officers from motivated harassment is crucial to allow them in finishing up the electoral capabilities in free, honest, neutral and fearless method.
In its instructions, the Fee stated “the state/UT governments shall invariably get hold of prior approval of the Fee earlier than initiating any disciplinary motion in opposition to the Chief Electoral Officers and different officers as much as Joint Chief Electoral Officer throughout their tenure and likewise as much as one 12 months from its expiry.”
It additionally stated that the state authorities and the union territory administration won’t scale back services reminiscent of car, safety and different services or facilities offered to the workplace of the chief electoral officer for correct discharge of his or her duties.
The letter identified that the matter of taking motion in opposition to any officer on election responsibility was subjected to the scrutiny of the Supreme Courtroom. In 2000, the highest courtroom had upheld that neither any motion might be initiated in opposition to the officers on election responsibility by the state authorities nor can the federal government refuse to behave on its recommendation to provoke motion in opposition to errant officers.
The Fee designates a CEO for state and union territories in session with the respective governments.
Chief electoral officers are primarily an extension of the Fee within the states and union territories to hold out multifarious election associated capabilities of the Fee.
As soon as appointed, the CEO comes underneath direct management, superintendence and self-discipline of the Election Fee and stays on deputation to Election Fee.
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