Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) is set to be introduced in the state for the first time in the Imphal East constituencies of Yaiskul, Heingang, Khurai, Kshtrigao, Thongju and Wangkhei.
Speaking to mediapersons DEO Ningthoujam Geoffrey said, VVPATs would be installed in the six constituencies.
Interacting with the representatives of state print and electronic media DEO, Imphal East emphasised on carrying on news violating election model code of conduct for the upcoming Legislative assembly election 2017.
Addressing the meeting, the DEO highlighted provisions on measures to check paid news. He also spoke at length about the District Election Office’s preparation ahead of the state Assembly election.
He also highlighted and elaborated on a few legal provisions against paid news including Section 126/126-A/127-A/10-A of Representation of People, RP Act 1951 and Indian Penal Code 171H.
He emphasised that the Indian Penal code 171H, which says whoever without the authority in writing from a candidate, incurs expenditure so as to enhance the prospects of winning, is punishable sometimes create confusions.
The capping of expenditure in the ensuing election for a candidate is limited to Rs 20 lakhs.
Elaborating on the district MCMC’s role, he said it is to check for paid news, certify advertisements, to monitor both the print and electronic media and to check violations of legal provisions regarding advertisements.
Explaining the appeal mechanism in regards to paid news, he said on the reference of the district MCMC, the RO concerned shall give notice to the candidate within 96 hours of publication/ broadcast/ telecast/ receipt of complaint to explain why expenditure should not be added to the candidate’s expenditure.
The District MCMC shall decide on the reply and convey to the candidate/ party its final decision and if the decision is not acceptable to the candidate, he/ she may appeal to the State level MCMC within 48 hours of receipt of the decision, with information to the district MCMC.
In case, no reply is received by the district MCMC from the candidate within 48 hours of serving the notice, the decision of the MCMC will be final.
The State level MCMC examines all cases of paid news on appeal against the decision of the district MCMC within 96 hours or receipt of appeal and cases that may take up suo moto.
The candidate may appeal against the decision of the state MCMC to the ECI within 48 hours of receiving of order from the committee. The decision of the Commission is final.
The DEO also spoke of vehicle and polling personnel assessments and said the district requires 2150 polling personnel for 430 polling stations, he said at the average of five polling staffs will deploy at all the 430 polling booths.
Geoffrey mentioned of recruiting 22 flying squads which will given magisterial power till the end of the election period.
He also highlighted key points of postal ballots, ePostal ballots, VVPATS, continuous revision, SVEEP and MCC Defacement.
The DEO also appealed to all concerned to make the ensuing election a free, fair and peaceful election. He said conducting an election peacefully is easy; however it is more important to make the election free and fair.
The meeting was also attended by the ROs of the district, members of the MCMC and media persons among others.
Source: Imphal Free Press