The Hush Post |19:40 am |two-minute-read
Dr. S Karuna Raju, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab has informed that candidates at elections to the House of the People, Council of States, Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council who have criminal cases against them either pending cases or cases in which candidate has been convicted, shall publish a declaration about such cases, for publicity, in newspapers with wide circulation in the concerned constituency.
This declaration has to be published in prescribed format at least thrice on three different dates from the day following the last date for withdrawal of candidature and up to two days before the date of poll. The matter should be published in font size of at least 12 and should be placed suitably in the newspapers so that the directions for wide publicity are complied with in letter and spirit.
Similarly, all such candidates with criminal cases are also required to publish the above declaration on TV channels on three different dates during the above mentioned period. But, in the case of the declaration in TV channels, the same should be completed before the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
In case of all candidates who have criminal cases as per the declarations in item 5 and 6 of form 26, the Returning Officer shall give written reminder about the directions herein for publishing declaration about the criminal cases in newspaper and TV channels for wide Publicity.
The candidates are also required to submit the copies of newspapers in which their declaration in this regard was published to the District Election Officer along with their account of election expenses.
In case candidates with criminal antecedents are fielded by political parties, whether recognised parties or registered unrecognised parties, such candidates are required to declare before the Returning Officer concerned that they have informed their political party about the criminal cases against them. A new insertion has been made for this declaration in Form 26, said the CEO.
Elaborating further upon the new directives, the CEO Punjab informed that the political parties- recognised parties and registered unrecognised parties, which field candidates with criminal cases either pending cases or cases of past conviction are also required to publish declaration giving details in this regard on their website as well as in TV channels and newspapers having wide circulation in the State concerned. Publishing of the declaration in the newspapers and TV channels is required to be done as in case of the candidate i.e at least on three different dates during the period mentioned and in case of TV channels, it shall be ensured that the publishing should be completed before the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll for election.
All such political parties shall submit a report to the Chief Electoral Officer of the State concerned stating that they have fulfilled the requirements of these directions and enclosing therewith the paper cuttings containing the declarations published by the party in the State or UT concerned. This shall be done within 30 days of completion of election. Thereafter, within the next 15 days, the Chief Electoral Officer should submit a report to the Commission confirming compliance by the parties concerned and pointing out cases of defaulters if any.
It may also be observed that information in respect of dues against government accommodation if any that may have been allotted to the candidates has been made a part of form 26 itself hence no separate affidavit for the same is required.