ECI sets speculations on dual voters at rest, says there is provision of punishment

Commission writes to CEO in response to DCs’ queries

*Panel being finalized for posting new CEO in J&K

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 12: Setting at rest the apprehensions voiced by some political parties about dual registration of voters by non-locals putting up in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has made it clear that no voter can be registered at two places and that those indulging in such acts are liable for punishment under the Representation of People’s Act.
The Election Commission has released series of clarifications in a letter addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir. The Additional Secretary in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer has forwarded the clarifications to all 20 Deputy Commissioners of the Union Territory.
“No person is to be registered more than once in any constituency and no person can be registered in the electoral roll for more than one segment. As per provisions of Section 31 of Representation of People’s Act 1950, if any person makes representation in connection with preparation, revision or correction of an electoral roll or inclusion or exclusion of any entry, a statement of declaration in writing which is false and which he knows or believes to be false, he shall be punishable under Section 31 of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1950,” the order read.
The accused can get imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or fine, or both.
Some political parties had voiced concerns that non-locals residing in Jammu and Kashmir can indulge in dual registration in electoral rolls.
The Election Commission’s clarification came in response to queries raised by the Deputy Commissioners, who have been designated as District Electoral Officers (DEOs), that there may be cases where an elector is enrolled at two places and while submitting Form-6B, he/she can provide Aadhaar card at one place and any of the 11 other documents at other place for registration as electorate.
“A scenario may arise when an elector applies for shifting from one place to another and mentions his/her EPIC number in Form-8. However, his/her name founds to be deleted from the electoral rolls in the case, provision may be made to retrieve old EPIC details and issuance of same EPIC number,” the inquiry by the District Election Officers, read.
The Election Commission, however, replied that retrieval of a deleted name is not possible in the existing system. In case somebody’s name is deleted from electoral roll, the only option available for him is to apply for fresh registration in Form 6.
Meanwhile, according to official sources, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in consultations with the Jammu and Kashmir Government, will shortly submit a panel of three senior IAS officers to the Election Commission of India for appointment as new Chief Electoral Officer of the Union Territory in place of Hridesh Kumar.
“Appointment of new CEO has to be approved by the Election Commission,” the officials said, adding the process has been initiated as Special Summary Revision is going on in Jammu and Kashmir and post of the Chief Electoral Officer can’t be kept vacant for long time.
Hridesh Kumar was the other day posted as Deputy Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India. He was working as the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir for past quite some time.
The Integrated Draft Electoral Rolls are scheduled to be published in Jammu and Kashmir on September 15 while period for filing claims and objections has been fixed between September 15 to October 25. Claims and objections will be disposed on November 10.
Checking of health parameters and obtaining Commission’s permission for final publication and updating database and printing of supplements will be done by November 19.
Final publication of electoral rolls will be done on November 25.