Holiday for polling:EC warns of penal action against violators

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Holiday for polling:EC warns of penal action against violators
Chennai, Apr 23: Taking a serious view of complaints about some establishments not declaring a holiday on polling day tomorrow for Lok Sabha elections in the state, election authorities in Tamil Nadu today warned of penal action against those violating the statutory provision that workers should be given paid leave.

"Complaints have been received that some establishments refuse to grant paid holiday on the poll day. This is in contravention of the provisions of the Representations of the People Act, 1951," Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said in a statement here.

He warned that FIR will be filed and penal action will be taken against those companies and establishments that refuse to grant paid holiday to their employees. He said Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 provides for the grant of holiday on the poll day with wages for every voter employed in any business, trade, or any other establishment.

Earlier, the state labour department made it clear that employers and commercial establishments must grant holiday with wages for their employees. The government's reiteration of the provision came in the backdrop of many establishments including IT and BPO sectors and cinema theatres sanctioning only permission to their employees to cast their ballot and not giving a holiday, it said.

"The employers of Industrial Establishments, shops and commercial establishments (including Information Technology/ BPO Sector), catering establishments, theatres, factories, plantations, motor transport undertakings, beedi and cigar Industry in Tamil Nadu are requested to grant holiday with wages on April 24, 2104 (Thursday) to all the employees (including the daily wage/casual/contract workers) employed by them to exercise their franchise," a release said.

While this instruction had already been made through media, "above said establishments and factories had sanctioned only permission not holiday," it said adding employees must be given holiday tomorrow. Meanwhile, cinema theatres announced suspension of shows tomorrow till 6 PM in view of the single-phase Lok Sabha polls in the state.

"As desired by the EC, there will be no film show in theatres till 6 PM on April 24, due to the general elections," Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners Federation President Abirami Ramanathan said in a release here. 


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