Taking word of some incidents of “victimisation” of state chief electoral officers and different election officers within the post-election interval on flimsy grounds, the Election Commission 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 times they are targeted for political vendetta by charging them with disciplinary cases on flimsy grounds for their earlier tenures in the state government after the completion of their tenure. An environment of fear is created to convey that the upright, steadfast and sincere officers can be taken to task at any time, on the flimsiest of the grounds,” the Commission famous.
It stated in such a state of affairs, these officers should not solely “demotivated but also their morale is greatly reduced, which severely affect their efforts to ensure free and fair elections”.
“Left to go on unfettered, it causes a situation where officials are reluctant to join as CEOs and those who are inducted face the uncertainty of fair treatment in post-election phase,” it noticed.
The EC stated it’s of thought-about view that constructive safety to election officers from motivated harassment is important to allow them in finishing up the electoral features in free, truthful, neutral and fearless method.
In its instructions, the Commission stated “the state/UT governments shall invariably obtain prior approval of the Commission before initiating any disciplinary action against the Chief Electoral Officers and other officers up to Joint Chief Electoral Officer during their tenure and also up to one year from its expiry.”
It additionally stated that the state authorities and the union territory administration is not going to scale back services akin to 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 obligation was subjected to the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. In 2000, the highest court docket had upheld that neither any motion could be initiated in opposition to the officers on election obligation by the state authorities nor can the federal government refuse to behave on its recommendation to provoke motion in opposition to errant officers.
The Commission designates a CEO for state and union territories in session with the respective governments.
Chief electoral officers are primarily an extension of the Commission within the states and union territories to hold out multifarious election associated features of the Commission.
Once appointed, the CEO comes beneath direct management, superintendence and self-discipline of the Election Commission and stays on deputation to Election Commission.
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