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CoP transfer: EC to examine HC order before filing SLP

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Apr 3 (UNI) The Election Commission (EC) will decide on filing a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court on City Police Commissioner R Nataraj's transfer issue after examining Madras High Court's order, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said today.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Nataraj said the High Court's judgement copies had been sent to the EC for perusal. The Commission would take a decision on appeal after going through the Court order, he added.

While disposing of a batch of petitions filed against the EC's order transferring Mr Nataraj for allegedly praising AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in violation of Model Code of Conduct, the High Court held the order was not binding on the Tamil Nadu Government.

Mr Gupta said the EC would look into media reports that Deputy Inspector General of Police P Sivanandi (CID Intelligence) urged people to vote for the ruling AIADMK during Ms Jayalalithaa's ongoing electioneering.

''We have not received any written complaint so far. Anyhow, we will look into the matter,'' he said.

The CEO asserted no photography or video recording by any person will be allowed inside the polling stations except by persons authorised by the EC. The Presiding Officer concerned would be held responsible for any lapse in this regard, he added.

Mr Gupta reiterated that no wall writing, pasting posters, erection of cut-outs, hoardings, banners or defacement in any form was permissible on the premises of public property. As far as private property was concerned, the 'Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 did not permit affixing of posters on any place open to public view in Corporation and Municipality areas.

In other areas, wall writing, pasting of posters and banners could be done with the consent of the owners. However, the expenses had to be accounted for in the candidates' expenditure, he said.

On deployment of Central para military forces, Mr Gupta said under no circumstance, the Central forces would be kept as reserve or strike force and they would be put on active duty.

Stating that an NGO had made a representation to the EC to provide an extra button on the electronic voting machine to record marking against 'none of the above' option, he said at present, there were provisions for electors deciding not to vote but not for negative voting.

Citing Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961, he said if an elector decides not to record his vote after his electoral roll number was entered in the register of electoral rolls in Form 17A, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry by the Presiding Officer.

The above position would be brought to the notice of all Returning Officers, Assistant ROs and Presiding Officers in the training classes to be conducted, he added.

UNI

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