ACT AND ORDINANCES
THE BODOLAND AUTONOMOUS COUNCIL (ELECTION) RULES, 1995
CHAPTER – I
Short title and Commencement
1. (1) These rules may be called the Bodoland Autonomous Council (Election) Rules, 1995
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
2.(A) In these rules unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) “Act” means Bodoland Autonomous Council Act 1993 (Assam Act No. XI of 1993)
(b) “Appropriate Authority” means in relation to an election to the council, the Government of Assam;
(c) “Ballot Box” means and includes any box, bag or other receptacles used for the insertion of the Ballot Paper by votes during Election;
(d) “Constituency” means a constituency provided by an order made under Section for the purpose of election to the General Council;
(e) “Council Area” means Bodoland Autonomous Council area;
(f) “Elector” in relation to an election in a constituency means any person where name is include in the Electoral Roll as defined in section 10 of the Act and includes the term voter in the appropriate context;
(g) “Form” means a form appended to the Appendix I of these rules and includes a translation thereof in Bodo or Assamese and any printed, photocopies, typewritten, cyclostyled or manuscript copy thereof;
(h) “Marked copy of the Electoral Poll” means a copy of the Electoral Roll set apart for the purpose of verifying the names of the electors to whom ballot papers are to be issued at an election;
(i) “Polling station” in relation to a council member means the place fixed for taking the poll at the election;
(j) “Public holiday” means a day which is a public holiday within the meaning of section 25 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881.
2.(B) The words and expression used in these rules but not defined shall have the same meaning respectively assigned to them in the Act.
CHAPTER – II
DELIMITATION OF CONSTITUENCIES AND OFFICIALS FOR THE ELECTIONS
Delimitation of constituencies
3. (1) The Council Area shall be divided into 40 (forty) territorial constituencies as provided in the Act, each of which shall be geographically compact and the number of the electorate there under reasonably be uniform and while making the delimitation regard shall be had to the existing boundaries of the administrative units.
(2) For the purpose of holding the first elections to the General Council, the Government shall publish the draft delimitation order for general information in such conspicuous places in the Council Area as deemed necessary inviting views objections or suggestions from all concerned within seven days from the date of such publication. The Government may authorise one or more of its Officers to receive such views, objections or suggestions within the stipulated period and submit the same, forthwith to the Government for issue of orders as referred to in sub-session (2) of section 6 of the Act.
Subject to the provisions of sub-role (2) the Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette delegate the power to determine the territorial limit of constituencies to any officer subordinate to it, in any member as may be specified in the said notification.
4. (1) For the purpose of holding first Election to the General Council, the Government shall be the Election Authority for the purpose of supervision of the preparation of Electoral Rolls and conduct to Election to the General Council as provided under the Act.
(2) Subject to the provision of sub-role (1) the Government may appoint one of its officers and suitable person as Election Authority for purpose of preparation and conduct of Election to the General Council.
5. The Government shall appoint one of its officers as the Returning Officer of a constituency. Provided that the Government may also designate the same person to be the returning Officer of more then one constituency.
6. The Government may appoint one or more of its officers in the Council Area to Act as Election Officer who may also been appointed as the Returning Officer of the respective constituency.
Subject to the Superintendence and control of the Government and/or the Election Authority, the Election Officer shall perform all works in connection with the preparation of Electoral Rolls and the conduct of elections to the General Council. The Election Officer shall also perform such other functions as may be entrusted to him by the Government for purpose of Election.
Assistant Returning Officer
7. (1) The Government may appoint one or more persons to assist any Returning Officer in the performance of his function as such officer. Every such persons to be appointed should be an officer of the Government.
(2) Every Assistant Returning Officer shall, subject to the entered of the Returning Officer, be competent to perform all or any of the functions of the Returning Officer, provided that no Assistant Returning Officer shall perform any of the Returning Officer which relate to the scrutiny of nomination papers unless, the Returning Officer is prevented from performing the said functions under unavoidable circumstances.
General Duty of the Returning Officer
8. It shall be the general duty of the Returning Officer at any election to do all or any of such acts and things as may be necessary for the preparation of electoral Rolls and conduct of the elections in the manner as provided in the Act and Rules or Orders made thereunder.
Appointment of Presiding and Polling Officer
9. (1) Subject to the instructions of the Government the Returning Officer shall appoint a Presiding Officer for each of the polling stations and such other polling Officer or Officers as the thinks necessary provided that he shall not appoint any such person who has been employed by or on behalf of or has been working for a candidate in or about the election;
Provided further that if Polling Officer is found absent in the polling station well head of the time of election, the Presiding Officer may appoint any other person who is present at the polling station and who has not been working for a candidate in the election, as a Polling Officer and inform the Returning Officer accordingly.
(2) A Polling Officer shall, if so directed by the presiding Officer perform all or any of the functions of a presiding Officer under these rules.
(3) If, the Presiding Officer, owing to illness or other unavoidable cause, be compelled to absent himself from the poling station, his function shall be performed by such polling Officer as has been previously authorised by the Returning Officer to perform such functions during any such absence.
Reference to presiding Officer in these rules, unless the contest otherwise requires, be deemed to include any person performing any function which he is authorised to perform under sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (3).
General Duty of the Presiding Officer
10. It shall be the general duty of the Presiding Officer at Polling station to keep order thereat and to see that poll is fairly taken.
CHAPTER – III
ELECTORAL ROLLING STATIONS, POLLING AREA
11. There shall be an electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election in the Council Area. The Electoral roll of a constituency of the Assam Legislative Assembly within the Council Area or part of it comprising of the areas which are situated within a constituency of the Council Area, shall be deemed to be the draft electoral roll for the respective council constituencies. The Returning Officer shall prepare electoral roll. The relevant electoral rolls and portion thereof of the existing electoral rolls of Legislative Assembly constituencies, corresponding to the area included within a council constituency will be collated and published by the Returning Officer in his Office for general information of the public on a date as may be fixed by the Government. A notice specifying the area and group of voters of different localities as mauza, village, municipal ward etc. included in different parts of electoral roll of the said constituency will also be displayed along with such publication. Copy of the notice as aforesaid shall be displayed for public information in the office of the Circle Officer, Block Development Officer, Municipality. Town Committee, Sub-Registry Officer Police Stations, Tea-garden, Gaon Panchayat Offices located within the constituency.
(2) All claims for inclusion, deletion or correction of entries made in respect of electoral roll received within a period of fifteen days from the date on which the draft roll was published shall be disposed of summarily by the Returning or any other Officer authorised by him in this behalf within a period not exceeding seven days from the last date for submission of such petitions. The electoral roll mentioned in sub-rule (1) together wit the addition, deletion and correction, if any, shall be the electoral roll for the Council constituency.
(3) The Returning Officer shall supply free of cost, one copy of each separate part of the electoral roll of the constituency referred to the sub-rule (2) to every political party for which symbol may be exclusively reserved under the provision of these rules and orders made thereunder.
12. (1) The Returning Officer appointed under rule 5 is responsible for the provision of polling stations and the publication of the list of polling stations. He shall, subject to the instructions and prior approval of the government, provide adequate number of polling stations for each constituency for election of member of the general Councils. Optimum number of polling stations in each constituency may determine by dividing the total voters by 730. As far as possible the polling stations may be located in schools and other Government or Semi-Government institutions. A polling station shall be provided for well defined polling area. The Returning Officer shall publish a list for each constituency showing the polling stations so provided and the polling areas and the electors for which they have been provided.
(2) Each contesting candidate at an election shall be supplied free of cost with one copy of the list of polling stations for that constituency immediately after the last date of withdrawal of candidates.
CHAPTER – IV
Notification for Elections
13. (1) For the purpose of constituting the first General Council and thereafter for constituting a new General Council on the expiration of duration of the existing General Council or on its dissolution, the Government shall be one or more Notification, published in the Official Gazette call upon the constituencies to elect members in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the Rules and Order made thereunder:
Provided that where a general Election is held otherwise than on the dissolution of the existing General Council, no such Notification shall be issued at any time earlier than six months prior to the date on which the duration of the General Council would expire under the provisions of Section 17 of the Act.
(2) When a seat of a member elected to the General Council becomes vacant or declared vacant or his election to the General Council is declared void, Government shall by the Official Gazette call upon the constituency concerned to elect a parson for the purpose of filling the vacancy in accordance with the provisions of the Act and of the Rules and Orders made thereunder.
Appointment of dates for nomination etc.
14. Simultaneously with the issuance of notification calling-upon a constituency elect a member, the Government shall, by Notification in the official Gazette, appoint —
(a) The last date for filing nominations, which shall be the seventh days after the date of publication of the first mentioned Notification or if that day is a public holiday, the next succeeding day which is not a public holiday.
(b) The date for scrutiny of nominations which shall be the day immediately following the last date for filing nominations or if that day is a public holiday the next succeeding day which is not a public holiday;
(c) The last day for withdrawal of candidate which shall be the second day after the date for the scrutiny of nominations or if that day is public holiday;
(d) The date or dates on which a poll shall, if necessary be taken and the hours during which poll shall be taken;
(e) The date before which the election shall completed.
Public Notice of Election
15. (1) On the issue of Notification under rule 13, the Returning Officer shall give public notice of the intended election in form – 1 inviting nomination of the candidates for such election specifying the place at which the nomination papers are to be accepted.
(2) The public notice should be published on the same day on which notification of election is published. It should be in English, Assamese and Bodo, on the notice Board of the Returning Officer and all other conspicuous place like offices of the Gaon Panchayat Block Development Officer, Municipality, Tea Garden, Police Station Sub-Registry officer situated within the constituency.
CHAPTER – V
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATE SCRUTINY, SYMBOL, WITHDRAWAL, COUNTERMANDING OF POLL
Nomination of candidate
16. Any person may be nominated and candidate for election to the General Council from any constituency if he is qualified to be chosen to fill that seat under the provision of the constitution and the Act. His name should be included in the electoral roll of any one of the constituencies.
Presentation of Nomination paper and requirements for a valid nomination
17. (1) On or before the date appointed under clause (a) of rule 14 each candidates shall, either in person or the his proposer, within the hours in between eleven O clock in the forenoon and three O clock in the afternoon, deliver to the Returning Officer at the place specified in this behalf in the Notice issued under rule 15, a nomination paper (in form-2) duly completed and signed by the candidate and by an elector of the respective constituency as proposer. In a constituency where any seat is reserved under section 5, a candidate shall not deemed to be qualified to be chosen to fill the seat unless his nomination paper contains a declaration by him specifying the particular Tribe of which he is a member and the area in relation to which the tribes is a Schedule Tribes of the state;
Provided that no nomination paper should be delivered to the Returning Officer on a day which is a public holiday.
(2) Nothing in this rule shall prevent any candidate from being nominated by more than one nomination papers for election in the same constituency:
Provided that no more than four nomination papers shall be presented by or on behalf of a candidate and accepted by the Returning Officer for election in the same constituency:
Provided further that a failure to complete or defeat in completing the declaration as to symbol shall not be deemed to be a defect of substantial character.
(3) On presentation of nomination paper the Returning Officer shall satisfy himself that the names and electoral roll number of the candidate and his proposer as entered in the nomination paper are the same as those entered in in the electoral roll of he relevant constituency:
Provided that the Returning Officer shall permit any clerical or technical error in the nomination paper in regard to the said names or number to be corrected in order to bring them into conformity with the corresponding entries in the electoral roll and where necessary direct that any Clerical or printing error in the said entries should be overlooked.
18. A candidate shall not be deemed to be duly nominated for election to General Council unless, at the time of delivery of the nomination paper he has either deposited or caused to be deposited either in cash or through Treasury Chelan with the Returning Officer, a sum of Rupees one hundred fifty or where the candidate is a member of the Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Caste, a sum of Rupees seventy-five only:
Provided that where more than one nomination papers for election in the same constituency not more than one deposit nominate a candidate shall be required of him under this rule.
19. For the purposes of these rules, a political party functioning in the Council Area and recognised by the Election Commission of India as a National Party or a State Party of Assam on the last date for filling nomination shall be a political party.
Symbol for Election
20. (1) The list of symbols for being chosen by candidates at elections and restriction to which their choice shall be subject as specifically provided under these rules, it prescribed in Appendix-II. The Government shall specify the symbols kept reserved for candidate set-up by political parties reorganised under Rule 19.
(2) Subject to general or special directions issued by the Government, where at any election more nomination papers than one are delivered for or on behalf of a candidate, the declaration as to symbols made in the nomination paper first delivered, and no other declaration as to symbols, shall be taken into consideration for the purpose of allotment of symbols to the contesting candidates even if that nomination paper is rejected.
(3) Notwithstanding the provision of sub-rule (1), if at any election the number of candidates exceeds the number of symbols specified in the Notification issued in this behalf or if any difficulty arises in processing blocks of symbols specified in such Notification, the Government may, by further Notification, specify additional symbols or freeze anyone or more symbols already specified as the case may be, if it is considered expedient to do so in the interest of smooth conduct of such elections.
Notice of nomination and the time and place for their scrutiny
21. (1) On the date fixed for scrutiny of nominations the candidates, their election agents, one proposer of each candidate and one other person duly authorised in writing by each candidate but no other person may be allowed to attend at such time and place as the Returning Officer may appoint and the Returning Officer shall give them all reasonable opportunities for examining the nomination papers of all candidate which have been delivered within the stipulated time.
(2) The Returning Officer shall then examine the nomination papers and shall decide all objections which may be made in respect of any nomination and may either on such objection or on his own motion after such summary enquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, reject any nomination on any or the following grounds;
(a) That on the date fixed for the scrutiny of nominations the candidate either is not qualified or disqualified for being elected to the General Council by or under the Act.
(b) That there has been a failure to comply with any of the provisions of rule 17 and 18.
(c) That the signature of the candidate or the proposer on the nomination paper is non genuine.
(3) Nothing contained in clause (b) & (c) of sub-rule (2) shall be deemed to authorise the rejection of the nomination of any candidate on the ground of any irregularity in respect of a nomination paper if, the candidate has been duly nominated by means of another nomination paper in respect of which no irregularity has been committed.
(4) The Returning Officer shall not reject any nomination paper on the ground of any defect which in not of a substantial character.
(5) The Returning Officer shall hold the scrutiny on the date appointed in this behalf under clause (b) or rule 14 and shall not allow any adjournment of the proceedings except when such proceedings are interrupted or obstructed beyondby riot or open violence or by any other cause beyond his control. The scrutiny of all nomination papers shall be completed on the date appointed for security:
Provided that in case on objection is raised by the Returning Officer, the Returning Officer may adjourn the hearing till the next day allowing the candidate to be rebut the objection. The adjourned hearing shall complete before 11 a.m. of the day of withdrawal of candidature.
(6) The Returning Officer shall endorse on each nomination paper his decision accepting or rejecting the same and if the nomination paper is rejected, he shall record in writing a brief statement of his reasons of such rejections.
(7) Immediately after all the nomination papers have been scrutinised and decision accepting or rejecting the same have been recorded, the Returning Officer shall prepare a list in From 4 of validly nominated candidates and affix it on his Notice Board. A copy of the list of validity nominated candidates shall be forwarded as soon as prepared to the Government and the press where Ballot papers may be directed to be printed by the Government. The names of the validly candidates will be arranged in alphabetical order.
With drawal of candidature
22. (1) Any candidate may withdraw his candidature by a notice in writing which shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed and shall be subscribed by him and delivered before three O’ clock in the afternoon on the day fixed under clause (C) of rule 14 by his proposer or election agent who has been authorised in this behalf in writing by such candidate.
(2) No person, who has given a notice of withdrawal of his candidature under sub-rule (1), shall be allowed to cancel the notice.
(3) The Returning Officer, on being satisfied as to the genuineness of notice of withdrawal of candidature and the identify the person delivering it under sub-rule (1), Cause the notice to be affixed in the officer.
Publication of the list of contesting candidates
23. (1) Immediately after the expiry of the period within which candidature may be withdrawn, the Returning Officer shall prepare in Form-7 a list of contesting candidates that is to say, the candidates who were included in the list of validly nominated candidates and who have not withdrawn their candidature within the said period.
(2) The said list shall contain the came in alphabetical order and address of the contesting candidates as given in the nomination papers and shall be prepared in Bodo and Assamese versions.
(3) The alphabetical order referred to in sub-rule (2) shall be determined with reference to names proper of the candidates. Where surnames are written first, first alphabet of the surnames shall be taken into consideration for the purpose. Such alphabetical arrangement shall be arranged according to Bodo script.
(4) The returning Officer shall consider the choice of symbols expressed by the contesting candidates in their nomination papers and shall, subject to the provision of rule 20 and any general or special direction issued in this behalf by the Government,—
(a) Allot a different symbol to each contesting candidates in conformity, as far as practicable with his choice;
(b) If, more contesting candidates than one have indicated their preference for the same symbol, decide by drawing of lots to which of such candidates will be allotted the particular symbol;
(c) The allotment by the Returning Officer of any symbol to a candidate shall be final;
(d) Every candidate or his election agent shall forthwith be informed of the symbol allotted to the candidate and be supplied with a specimen thereof by the Returning Officer.
24. (1) The Returning Officer shall immediately after its preparation cause a copy of the list of contesting candidate to be affixed in his office Notice Board and shall supply a copy of the same to each of the contesting candidates to his election agent.
(2) A copy of the list of contesting candidates shall forwarded as soon as prepared, to the Government and/or Election Authority and the authorities or the concerned printing press as may be directed by the Government/Election authority, where Ballot papers will be printed.
Death of candidate before poll
25. It a candidate, who has been duly nominated under the rules and after the date fixed for scruiting of nomination but before, the commencement of poll and who has not withdrawn his candidature under rule 22 dies and a report of his death is received before the commencement of the poll the Returning Officer shall, on being satisfied of the fact of the death of the candidate, countermand the poll in the particulars constituency and report the fact to the Government and all procedure with reference to the election to that constituency shall be commenced afresh in all respect as if for fresh election:
Provided that no fresh nomination shall be necessary in case of a candidate whose nomination had been valid at the time of countermanding of the poll:
Provided further that no person, who has given a notice of withdrawal of his candidature under rule 22, before countermanding the poll, shall be eligible for being nominated as a candidate for election after such countermanding.
Procedure for contested and uncontested Election
26. If, at any election to any constituency for General Council —
(a) The number of candidates is more than one, a poll shall be taken,
(b) If, there is only one contesting candidate the Returning Officer shall forthwith declare in Form-12 such candidate to be duly elected to fill the seat.
(3) If, there is no candidate for the seat the Returning Officer shall forthwith inform the Government/Election authority for taking appropriate action.
CHAPTER – VI
AGENTS OF CANDIDATES
27. (1) A candidate at an election may appoint any one person other than himself to be his election agent. When any such appointment is made notice of the appointment shall be given in Form-8 either at the time of delivery of the nomination or at any time before election.
(2) No person, who for the time being is not qualified under Section 8 Section 9 and Section 18 of the Act or for voting at elections, shall be eligible for appointment as election agent.
(3) The appointment of election agent may be revoked by the candidate at any time by declaration in writing in Form-9 signed by the candidate and lodged with the Returning Officer, Such revocation will be effective from the date of such lodging. In the event of such revocation of in the event of election agents death before or during the period of election, the candidate may appoint a new election agent in accordance with the provision of sub-rule (1). An election agent may perform such functions as are authorised by or under these rules to be performed by an election agent.
Appointment of polling agent
28. (1) A contesting candidate or his election agent may appoint on poling agent and two relief agents for each polling station. Such appointment shall be made in Form-10 in duplicate.
(2) The (2) Every such appointment shall be made ever to the polling agent for production to the Presiding Officer at the polling station or the place fixed for poll, as the case may be. The Presiding Officer shall retain the duplicate copy in his custody. No polling agent shall be allowed to perform any duty at the polling station, unless he has completed with the provision of this sub-rule.
Revocation of appointment or death or polling agent
29. (1) The appointment of polling agent may be revoked the candidate or his election agent in Form-11 at any time before the commencement of the poll by declaration in writing signed by him, and this should be lodged with the Presiding Officer of the poling station where the polling agent was appointed for duty.
(2) Where the appointment of poling agent is revolved under sub-rule (10) or where poling agent dies before the close of the poll, the candidate or his election agent may at any time before the closure of he poll, appoint a new polling agent in accordance with sub-rule (1) of rule 29.
THE POLL, VOTERS, POLLING MATERIALS, POLLING ARRANGEMENT
Fixing time of poll
30. The Government shall fix the hours during which poll shall be taken in such a manner that the total hours allotted on any one day for polling at an election in a Council constituency should not be less than eight hours.
31. At every election where a poll is taken, votes shall be given by Ballot and no vote shall be received by proxy.
Adjournment of poll in emergence
32. (1) If, at any election the proceedings at any polling station are interrupted or obstructed by any riot or open violence or if, at an election it is not possible to take the poll at any polling station or such places on account of any natural calamity or any other sufficient cause, the Presiding Officer for such polling station or the Returning Officer presiding over such place, as the case may be, shall announce adjournment of the poll to a date to be notified later and where the poll is adjourned by a Presiding Officer, he shall forthwith inform the Returning Officer concerned.
(2) Whereover a poll is adjourned under sub-rule (1) the Returning Officer shall immediately report the circumstance to the Government/Election authority and shall as soon as may be, with previous approval of the Government appoint the day on which poll shall recommence and fix the polling station or place at which and the hours during which, the poll will be taken and shall not count the votes cast at such election, unless adjourned poll has been completed.
Procedure in adjourned poll
33. If the poll at any station is adjourned under rule 32, it shall be deemed as if the poll was closed at the hour fixed in that before under rule 13.
When an adjourned poll is recommenced the voters who have already voted at the poll so adjourned shall not be allowed to vote again.
The sealed packet containing the marked copy of the electoral roll and new Ballot boxes shall be provided by the Returning Officer to the Presiding Officer of the polling station at which adjourned poll is held. The Presiding Officer shall display the marked copy of he electoral roll before the polling agents present and use the marked copy for marking the names of voters to whom Ballot papers are issued at the adjourned poll. All relevant provisions as were applied before the adjourned shall also apply in relation to the conduct of adjournment poll.
Fresh poll in case of destruction etc. of Ballot Boxes
34. (1) If, at any election,—
(a) Any ballot box used at a polling station is unlawfully taken out of the custody of the Presiding Officer or the Returning Officer or is accidentally or intentionally destroyed or lost or damaged or tempered with to such an extent that the result of the poll at that poling station cannot be ascertained; or
(b) Any such error or irregularities in procedure as is likely to vitiate the poll is committed at a polling station, the Returning Officer shall forthwith report the matter to the Government/Election authority.
(2) Thereupon, the Government shall, after taking all material circumstances into account, either —
(a) Declare the poll at that polling station to be void, appoint a day and fix the hours for taking fresh poll at that polling station and notify the day so appointed and the hours so fixed in such manner as it may deem fit; or
(3) The provision of the Act and of any Rules or orders trade thereunder shall apply to every such poll as they apply to original poll.
35. No person, whose name has not been entered in any electoral roll of any constituency for the time being, shall be entitled to vote in that constituency and no person shall at a election Vote more than once, even though his name has been entered in the electoral roll more than once.
36. Every Ballot Box shall be of such design as may be approved by the Government.
37. (1) Every Ballot paper shall have a counterfoil attached thereto and shall be in Form-13 and particulars therein shall be recorded both in Bodo and Assamese versions.
(2) the names of the candidates shall be arranged in the Ballot paper in the same order in which they appeared in the list of contesting candidates prepared published under rule 23.
(3) Every Ballot paper shall be of such design as approved by the Government. The Ballot paper shall be serially numbered.
Arrangement at Polling station
38. (1) The Returning Officer shall provide at each polling station sufficient number of ballot Boxes, Ballot Papers, copier of electoral roll pertaining to the poling area, instrument for stamping the distinguishing mark on the Ballot Papers and articles necessary for electors to mark the Ballot papers. He shall also provide at each polling station such other equipment’s and accessories as may be necessary for taking the poll at such polling station.
(2) Every polling party be provided by the Returning Officer with one or more compartment hereinafter referred to as polling compartment in which the elector can mark the Ballot paper secretary so that nobody can observe his vote.
(3) The Presiding Officer in each polling station shall display prominently outside the polling station.
(a) A notice specifying the polling area or the particulars of electors to be served by the polling station and,
(b) A copy of the list of contesting candidates.
Persons entitled to enter the Polling Station
39. The following persons shall be allowed to enter in polling station:—
(a) Polling Officers,
(b) Each candidate, his election agent and one polling agent of each candidate at a time,
(c) Persons authorised by the Election Authority,
(d) Public servant on duty in connection with election.
(e) A child in arm accompanying an elector,
(f) A person accompanying a blind or infirm voter who cannot move without help,
(g) Such persons as the presiding officer may allow from time to time for the purpose of identifying voters or otherwise assisting the Presiding Officer in taking the poll.
Preparation of Ballot Boxes for the poll
40. (1) The Presiding Officer at each polling station shall immediately before the commencement of the poll allow the candidate and their appointed agents who may be present at such station to inspect the Ballot Boxes to be used at the poll and demonstrate to him that boxes are empty.
(2) Every Ballot Box used at a polling station shall bear a label outside, indicating the serial number if any. The name of the constituency the serial number name of polling station, the serial number of Ballot Box, if more than one box is used on that date of the poll.
(3) The Presiding Officer shall thereafter secure and seal such Ballot Box in such manner that the slit for insertion of ballot papers remains open and shall allow the candidates or their appointed agents who may be present to affix, if they so desire, their own seals as well. The seals for securing a Ballot Box shall be affixed in such a manner that it shall not be possible to open the Ballot Box without breaking them.
The Ballot Box shall then be placed in full view of the President Officer and polling agents.
Preparation of Ballot Papers for issue
41. Every Ballot Paper, before it is issued to an elector, shall be stamped with distinguishing mark on the back of the Ballot Paper and the counterfoil. The Ballot Paper should be signed in full, on its back by the Presiding Officer. At the time of issuing a Ballot paper to the elector the poling officer shall obtain signature or thumb impression of that elector on the counterfoil and mark the name of the elector in the marked copy of the electoral roll to indicate that a Ballot Paper has been issued to him. No person in the polling station, shall note down the serial number of the Ballot paper issued to a particular elector. The polling officer, shall record on the counterfoil the electoral roll number of the elector as entered in the marked copy of the electoral roll and obtain the signature, thumb impression of the elector on the counterfoil.
Identification of Voter
42. (1) The Presiding Officer may employ at the polling station such persons as he thinks at to help in he identification of the elector or to assist him otherwise in taking the poll.
(2) As the voter enters the polling station, the Presiding Officer or the polling officer authorised by him, shall check the voters name and other particulars with the relevant entry in the electoral roll and call out the serial number, name, and other particulars of the voter.
(3) No objection as to the eligibility of a voter at the election, shall be made by any other person other than a candidate or his appointed agent and such objection shall be made to the Presiding Officer. The President Officer or the polling officer as the case may be, shall overlook more clerical or printing errors in an entry in the electoral roll, if he is satisfied the such person is identical with elector to whom such entry related.
Facilities for women Voters
43. (1) In a polling station set up for both male and female electors, the President Officer may direct that they shall enter into the polling station alternately in separate batches.
(2) The Returning Officer or Presiding Officer may appoint a women to act as a helper to the Presiding Officer generally in taking the poll in respect of the women electors and in particular to help in searching any women elector in case it becomes necessary.
Facilities for Voters on Election Duty
44. (1) A voter on election duty, who wished to vote shall at least four days before the date of poll, approach the Returning Officer of the constituency in respect of which he is a voter and mate an application in order to enable him to cast him vote.
(2) The Returning Officer on ascertaining that such voter has been appointed in connection with election, shall —
(a) Have the name of the person marked in the electoral roll; and
(b) Issue a Ballot Paper inside the cover in Form-14.
(3) Such voter after recording his vote shall put the Ballot Paper in cover in Form-14(b), seal the name and handover to the Returning Officer.
(4) The Returning Officer shall keep the counterfoil of such Ballot Paper in a separate sealed cover and shall open the sealed cover in Form-14(A) containing the Ballot Paper at the counting immediately before the counting of Ballot Paper in the polled Ballot Boxes is taken up.
Challenging of Identity
45. (1) Any polling agent may challenge the identity of a person claiming to be particular elector by first depositing a sum of Rupees two only in cash with the Presiding Officer for each such challenge.
(2) On such deposit being made the Presiding Officer shall —
(a) Warn the person challenged of the penalty for personation ;
(b) Read the relevant entry in the electoral roll in full and ask him whether he or she is the person referred to in that entry;
(c) Enter his name and address in the list of challenged votes in Form-15; and
(3) The Presiding Officer shall thereafter hold a summary enquiry into the challenge and may for this purpose —
(a) Require the person making the challenge to adduce evidence in respect of the identity of the person challenged and the persons challenged to adduce evidence in proof of his identity;
(b) Put to the person challenged any question necessary for the purpose of establishing his identity and require him to answer them an oath; and
(c) Administer an oath to the person challenged and any other person offering to give evidence.
(4) If, after enquiry the Presiding Officer considers that the challenge has not established, he shall allow the person challenged to vote and if he consider that challenge has been established, he shall debar the person challenged from voting.
(5) If, the Presiding Officer is of the opinion that the challenge is fritolous or has nor been made in good faith, he shall direct the deposit made under sub rule (1) be forfeited to the Government and in any other case be shall return the sum to the person making the challenge at the conclusion of the enquiry.
Safeguards against person
46. (1) Every Elector about whose identity the Presiding Officer or the polling officer as the case may be, is satisfied shall allow his left forefinger to be inspected by the Presiding Officer or the polling officer and an indelible ink mark to be put on it.
(2) If any elector —
(a) Refuse to allow left forefinger to be inspected or marked in accordance with sub-rule (1) or has such a mark on his left forefinger or does any act with a view to removing the inkmark; or
(b) Fails or refuses to produce his identity as required under rule 42, he shall act be supplied with any Ballot paper or allowed to vote, a reference to the left forefinger in this rule, shall in the case where the forefinger of the elector is missing, be construed as a reference to any other finger of his left hand and shall in the case where all the figures in the left hand are missing to be construed as a reference to the forefinger or any other finger of his right hand and shall when all his fingers of both hands are missing to be construed as a reference to such left or right arm as he posses.
Maintenance of security of voting by electors within polling station and voting procedure
47. Every elector to whom a Ballot Paper has been issued under rule 41 or any other provision of these rules shall maintain secrecy of voting within the polling station and for that purpose observe the voting procedure hereinafter appearing, namely:—
(1) The elector on receiving the Ballot Paper shall forthwith,—
(a) Proceed to one of the voting compartments;
(b) There make a mark on the Ballot Paper with the instrument supplied for the purpose on or near the symbol of the candidate for whom he in ends to vote;
(c) Fold the Ballot Paper so as to maintain secrecy of his vote;
(d) If required, show to the Presiding Officer the distinguishing mark on the ballot paper;
(e) Insert the folded Ballot Paper into the Ballot Box and;
(f) Quit the polling station.
(2) Every elector shall vote without undue delay.
(3) No elector shall be allowed to enter a voting compartment when another elector is inside it.
(4) If, an elector to whom a Ballot Paper has been issued refuses, after warning given by the Presiding Officer, to observe procedure laid-down in sub-rule (1). The Ballot Paper issued to him shall whether he has record his vote thereon or not taken back from him by the Presiding Officer or a polling officer under the direction of the Presiding Officer.
(5) After the Ballot Paper has been taken back, the Presiding Officer shall record on its back the words “cancelled: voting procedure violated” and put his signature below these words. All such Ballot Papers shall be kept in separate cover which shall bear on the face, the words “Ballot Paper: Voting procedure violated.”
(6) Without prejudice to any other penalty to which an elector from whom a Ballot Paper has been taken back under sub-rule (4) may be liable. The votes, if any, recorded on such Ballot Paper shall not be counted in the counting of votes.
48. If, a person representing himself to be particular elector applied for Ballot Paper after another person has already voted as such elector, he shall on satisfactorily answering such questions relating to his identity as the Presiding Officer may ask, be entitled subject to the following provision, to mark a ballot paper, hereinafter referred to as “Tendered ballot paper” in the same manner as any other elector:—
(1) Every such person shall, before being supplied with a Tendered ballot paper, sign his name against the entry relating to him in Form-17.
(2) A Tendered Ballot paper shall be same as other Ballot papers used at the polling except that —
(a) Such Tendered ballot paper shall be serially the last in the bundle of Ballot Papers issued for use at the polling station, and
(b) Such Tendered ballot paper and its counterfoil shall be endorsed on the back with the words “Tendered ballot paper” by the Presiding Officer in his hand and signed by him.
(c) The elector after marking a Tender ballot paper in the voting compartment and folding it shall, instead of putting into the Ballot Box, give it to the Presiding Officer, who shall place it in a cover specially kept for the purpose.
Recording of votes of blind and in firm electors
49. (1) If, the President Officer is satisfied that owing to Blindness or other physical infirmity, and elector is unable to recognise the symbols on the Ballot Paper or make a mark without assistance, the Presiding Officer shall permit the elector to have with him a companion of not less than eighteen years of age to the voting compartment for recording the vote on the Ballot Paper on his behalf and in accordance with his wished and if necessary for folding the Ballot Paper so as to maintain secrecy of the vote and inserting it into the Ballot Box:
Provided that, no person shall be allowed to act as a companion of more than one elector at any polling station on the same day. Provided further that, before any person is permitted to act as companion of an elector on any day under this rule the person shall be required to declare that he will keep secret the vote recorded by him on behalf of the elector and that he has not already acted as the companion of any other elector at any polling station on that day.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall keep a record of the blind and infirm voters in Form-16.
Spoilt and returned ballot paper
50. (1) An elector, who has inadvertently death with his Ballot Paper in such manner that it cannot be conveniently used as Ballot Paper, may on returning it to the Presiding Officer and on satisfying him of the inadvertence, be given another Ballot Paper and the Ballot Paper so returned and the counterfoil of such Ballot Paper shall be marked “Spoilt Cancelled” by the Presiding Officer.
(2) If, a elector after obtaining a Ballot Paper does not use it, he shall return it to the Presiding Officer and the Ballot Paper so returned and the counterfoil of such Ballot Papers shall be marked “Returned: Cancelled” by the Presiding Officer. All Ballot Paper cancelled under sub-rule (1) and (2) shall be kept in a separate packet.
51. (1) The Presiding Officer shall close a polling station at the hours fixed in that behalf under rule 30 and shall not thereafter arms any elector in the the polling station; Provided that, all electors present at the polling station before it was closed shall be allowed to cast their votes.
(2) If any question arises whether an elector was present at the poling station before it was closed, it shall be decided by the Presiding Officer and his decision shall be final.
Sealing of Ballot Boxes
52. (1) As soon as practicable after the closing of the poll the Presiding Officer shall close the slit of the Ballot Boxes as and where the box does not contain any mechanical device for closing the slit, he shall seal up the alit and also allow any following agent present to affix his seal. The Ballot Box shall, thereafter be sealed and secured.
(2) Where it becomes necessary to use a second Ballot Box by reason of the first box getting full, the first box shall be closed, sealed and secured as provided in the sub-rule (1) before another box in put into use.
Account of Ballot paper
53. (1) The Presiding Officer shall, at the close of the roll prepare a ballot paper account in Form-13 and enclose it in a separate cover with the words, Ballot Paper Account” super scribed thereon.
Sealing of the packets
54. (1) At the close of the poll, the Presiding Officer shall make into separate packets.
(a) Marked copy of the electoral roll,
(b) The counterfoil of the used Ballot Papers,
(c) The Ballot Papers, if signed, but not issued to the voters.
(d) The Ballot Papers cancelled for violation of voting procedure under sub-rule (4) and (5) of rule 47,
(e) The cover containing the tendered Ballot Papers and list Form-17,
(f) The list of challenged votes,
(g) Any other papers directed by the Election authority/Government to be kept in sealed packet.
(2) Each such packets shall be sealed with seal of the Presiding Officer and with the seal either of the candidate or the election agent or his poling agent who may be present at the polling station and may desire to affix his seal thereon.
Transmission of Ballot Boxes etc to the Returning Officer
55. (1) The Presiding Officer shall then, deliver or cause to be delivered at such place as the Returning Officer may direct —
(a) The Ballot Boxes,
(b) The Ballot Paper account,
(c) The sealed packets referred to in rule 54 and
(d) All other paper used at the poll.
The Returning Officer shall provide safe custody of Ballot Boxes and sealed packets so received from the Presiding Officer.
CHAPTER – VIII
COUNTING OF VOTES
Time and place for counting
56. The Returning Officer shall, at least one week before the date fixed for the poll, appoint the place or places where the counting of votes will be done and date and time at which counting will commence and give Notice of the same in writing to each candidate or his election agent; Provided that, if for any reason the Returning Officer finds it necessary so to do, he may alter the date, time, place or places so fixed or any of them after giving notice or the same in writing to each candidate or his election agent.
Appointment of Counting agent and revocation of such appointment
57. Each candidate may appoint in Form-10(A) a many counting agents as there are counting tables for counting of votes polled at the election that he contests and one more to watch the counting at Returning Officers table, and may revoke such appointment in Form-11(A).
Admission to the place fixed for counting
58. (1) The Returning Officer shall exclude from the fixed for counting of votes all persons except —
(a) Such persons to be known as counting superviser and counting assistants as he may appoint to assist him in the counting. No person who has been working for or employed by candidate shall be appointed to assist the Returning Officer in counting.
(b) Persons authorised by the Election authority,
(c) Public servant or duty in connection with election, and
(d) Candidates, their election agents and counting agents. The Returning Officer shall decide which counting agent shall watch the counting at any particulars table.
(2) Any persons, who during the counting of votes misconducts himself or fails to obey the lawful directions of the Returning Officer, may be removed from the place where votes are being counted by the Returning Officer or by any police officer on duty or by person authorised in this behalf by the Returning Officer.
Maintenances of Secrecy of Voting
59. Every Officer, clerk agent or other person, who perform any duty in connection with the recording or counting of votes at an election, shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy in voting and shall not, except for some purpose authorised by or under law, communicate to any person any information calculated to violate such secrecy.
Vote of Persons on Election duty
60. (1) The Returning Officer shall first deal with the sealed covers referred to in rule 44 containing votes of persons on election duty. The sealed covers should be opened on after another in presence of the candidates or their election agents and counting agents.
(2) The Returning Officer shall count all the valid votes in the sealed cover and record the total number thereof in the result Sheet in Form 19 and announce the same.
(3) Thereafter, all the valid Ballot Papers and all rejected Ballot papers shall be separately bundled and kept together in a packet which shall be sealed with the seal of the Returning Officer and of such candidates their election agents or counting agents as may desire to affix their seal and shall before corded the name of the constituency, the date or counting and a brief description of the content.
(4) A ballot paper received in sealed cover may be rejected on the grounds mentioned in rule 62.
Screening and opening of Ballot Boxes
61. (1) Before a ballot Box is opened at a counting table the counting agents present at that table shall be allowed to inspect the seals as might have been affixed thereon and to satisfy themselves that it is in fact.
(2) The Returning Officer shall satisfy himself that none of the Ballot Boxes has, infact, been tempered with.
(3) If, the Returning Officer is satisfied that any Ballot Box has infact, been tempered with, he shall not count the procedure laid down in rule 34 in respect of that polling station.
Counting of Votes
62. (1) The Ballot paper taken out of each Ballot Box shall be arranged in convenient bundles and scrutinised.
(2) The Returning Officer shall reject a Ballot paper —
(a) If it bears any mark or writing by which an elector can be identified, or
(b) If, it bears no mark at all or to indicate the vote, it bears a mark elsewhere then on or near the symbol of one of the candidates on the face of the ballot paper or it bears a mark made otherwise than with instrument supplied for the purpose, or
(c) If, votes are given on it in favour of more than one candidate, or
(d) If, the mark indicating the vote thereon is placed in such manner as to make it doubtful to which candidate, the vote has been given, or
(e) If, it is a spurious ballot paper, or
(f) if, it is so damaged or mutilated that its identify as a genuine ballot paper can not be established, or
(g) If, it hears a serial number of is of a design, different from the serial numbers or as the case may be, design, of the ballot papers authorised for use at the particular polling station, or
(h) If, does not bear both mark and the signature which it should have been borne under rule 41:
Provided that, where the Returning Officer is satisfied that any such defect mentioned in clause (g) of (h) has been caused by any mistake or failure on the part of the Presiding Officer or polling Officer, the Ballot paper shall not be rejected merely on ground of such defect; provided further that, a ballot paper shall not be rejected merely on ground that the mark indicating the vote is indistinct or made more than once, if the intention that the vote shall be for a particular candidate clearly appears from the way the paper is marked.
(3) Before rejecting any Ballot paper under sub-rule (2) the Returning Officer shall allow each counting agent a reasonable opportunity to inspect the Ballot paper but hall not allow him to handle it or any other Ballot paper.
(4) The Returning Officer shall endorse on every Ballot paper rejected by him the word “Rejected” and the ground of rejection in abbreviated from either in his own hand or by means of a rubber stamp and shall initial such endorsement.
(5) All Ballot papers rejected under this rule shall be bundled together.
63. (1) Every Ballot paper which is not rejected under rule 6, shall be counted as one valid vote for candidate in favour of whom voting mark has been duly given provided that no cover containing tendered vote shall be opened and no such paper shall be counted.
(2) After counting of all the Ballot papers contained in all the Ballot Boxes used at a polling station has been completed (a) the counting superviser shall fill in and sign Parts (II) Result of counting in Form-18 which shall also be signed by the Returning Officer on verification, and (b) the Returning Officer shall make entries in a result sheet in Form-19 and announce the particulars.
(3) The valid Ballot paper of each candidate and the rejected Ballot Papers there after be bundled separately and the several bundles made up into a separate packet which shall be sealed with the seal of the Returning Officer and of such of the candidates, their election agents, counting agents as may desire to affix their seal thereon and on packets so sealed shall be recorded the following particulars namely:—
(a) Name of the constituency,
(b) Particulars of polling station where ballot papers have been used, and
(c) The date of counting.
Counting to be continuous
64. The Returning Officer shall as far as practicable, proceed continuously with the counting and shall during the interval when the counting has to be suspended, keep the Ballot papers, packets and all other papers relating to the election sealed with his own seal and seals by such candidates or election agents as may desire to affix their seals and sufficient precaution for safe custody during the intervene.
Recommencement of Counting after fresh poll
65. If a fresh poll is held under rule 34 the Returning Officer shall, after completion of that poll, recommence the counting of votes on the date and time and place which have been fixed by him in that behalf and of which notice has been previously given to the candidates and their election agents.
Recount of Votes
66. (1) After the completion of counting the Returning Officer shall record in the result sheet in Form-19 the total number of votes poled by each candidate and announce the same.
(2) After such announcement has been made, a candidate or in his absence his election agent or any of his counting agents may apply in writing to the Returning Officer to recount the votes either wholly or in part stating the grounds on which he demand such recount.
(3) On such application being the made the Returning Officer shall decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject it totally if it appears to him to be treveolus or unreasonable.
(4) Every decision of the Returning Officer under sub-rule (3) shall be in writing and contain the reason thereof.
(5) If the Returning Officer decides under sub-rule (3) to allow recount of the votes either wholly or in part, he shall —
(a) Do the recounting in accordance with the rules 62, 63,
(b) Amend the result sheet in Form-19 to the extent necessary after such recount,
(c) Announce the amendment so made by him.
(6) After the total number of votes polled by each candidate has been announced under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (5) the Returning Officer shall complete and sign the result sheet in Form-19 and no application for recount shall be entertained thereafter. Provided that no step under this sub-rule shall be taken on completion of the counting until the candidates and election agents present have been given a reasonable opportunity to exercise the right conferred by sub-rule (2).
Destruction lost etc. of ballot papers at the time of counting
67. (1) If, at any time before the counting or votes is completed any ballot papers used at poling station are unlawfully taken out of the custody of the Returning Officer or are accidentally or intentionally destroyed or lost or are damaged or tempered with to such an extent that the result of the poll at that polling station cannot be ascertained the Returning Officer shall forthwith report the matter to the Government.
(2) Thereupon the Government shall after taking all material circumstances into account either —
(a) Direct that the counting of votes shall be stopped, declare the poll at that polling station to be void, appoint a day and fix the hours for taking a fresh poll at that polling station and notify the date and hour so fixed in such a manner as it may deem fit.
(b) If, satisfied that the result of fresh poll in that polling station will not in an way, effect the result of election, issue such direction to the Returning Officer as it may deem proper for resumption and completion of counting and for further conduct and completion of the election in relation to which the votes been have counted.
(3) The provisions of the Act and of the Rules of orders made thereunder shall apply to every such fresh poll as they apply to original poll.
Equality of votes
67. (A) If, after the counting of the votes is completed an equality of votes is found to exist between any candidates and an addition of one vote will entitle any of those candidate to be declared elected, the Returning Officer shall forthwith decide between those candidates by drawing of lot and proceed as it the candidate on whom the lot falls has received and additional vote.
68. The Returning Officer shall immediately after completion of counting and signing of the result sheet in Form-19 declare in Form-20, the candidate securing the largest number valid votes to be elected under Section 5 read with Section 12 of the Act and hung up the same in his office and send signed copies thereof to the Election Authority and the Government. The Government shall cause the names of the elected candidates published in the Official Gazette.
Grant of certificate of Election to the returned candidate
69. (A) As soon as may be after a candidate has been declared to be elected, the Returning Officer shall grant to such candidate a certificate of election in Form-21 and obtain from him and acknowledgement of his receipt signed by him and immediately send the acknowledgement by registered post to the Election authority.
(2) Every elected candidate, shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before such person as may be appointed by the Government in this behalf, and oath of affirmation in Form-22, as required under Section 21 of the Act.
Custody of papers relating elections
70. The Returning Officer shall keep in safe custody—
(a) The packets of unused Ballot papers with counterfoil attached thereto,
(b) The packets of used Ballot papers whether valid tendered or rejected,
(c) The packets of counter foil of used ballot papers,
(d) The packets of marked copy of the Electoral rolls,
(e) All other papers relating to elections and other paper directed by the Government of Election authority to be kept in sealed packets, each such packets shall be sealed with the seal of the Returning Officer, and with the seal of candidates their election agents, counting agent who may be present at the polling station and may intend the affix his seal thereon.
CHAPTER – IX
REQUISITIONING OF PREMISES, VEHICLE ETC. FOR ELECTION PURPOSE, ELECTORAL OFFICE
71. (1) If, it appears to the collector that in connection with an election under this Act.
(a) The any premises are needed or likely to be needed for the purpose of being used as a polling station or for storage of Ballot Boxes after a poll has been taken, or
(b) That any vehicle, vessel or animal is needed or likely to be needed for the purpose of transport of Ballot Boxes to or from any polling station, or transport member of Police Force for maintaining order during the conduct of such election or transport of any other person for performance of any duties in connection with such elections, the Collector may be order in writing, requisition such premises or such vehicles, vessels or animals as the case may be and may make such further orders as may appear to him to be necessary or expedient in connection with the requisitioning; provided that no vehicle, vessel or animal which is lawfully being used by a candidate or his agent for any purpose connected with the election of such candidate shall be requisitioned under this sub-rule until completion of the poll at such election.
(2) The requisition shall be affected by an order in writing addressed to the person deemed by the collector to be the owner or person in possession of the property, and shall be served on the person addressed.
(3) Whenever any property is requisitioned under sub-rule (1) the period of such requisition shall not extend beyond the period for which such property is required for any of the purposes mentioned in this rule.
(4) For the purposes of this rule “Premises” means any land, building or part of a building and includes a hut, shed or other structure or any part thereof “Vehicle” means any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose of read transport whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise.
Payment of compensation
72. (1) Whenever in pursuance of rule, 71 any premises are requisitioned, there shall be paid to the persons interested, compensation the amount of which shall be determined by taking into consideration the following, namely —
(i) The rent payable in respect of the premises or if no rent is so payable, it shall be determined on the basis of the rent payable for similar premises in the locality.
(ii) If, any consequence of the requisition of the premises the person interested is compelled to change his residence or place of business, the reasonable expenses if any, incidental to such change is also payable, Provided that, any person interested being aggrieved over the amount of compensation make an application within thirty days to the State Government, the amount of compensation to be said shall be such as the State Government may determine. The decision of the State Government shall be final
In this sub-rule the expression person interested means the person who was in actual possession of the, promises requisitioned under rule 71 immediately before the requisition or where no person was in such actual possession, the owner of such premises.
(2) Whenever in pursuance of rule 71 any vehicle vessel or animal are requisitioned, there shall be paid to the owner thereof compensation the amount of the which shall be determined by the state Government on the basis of the fare or rates, prevailing the locality for the hire of such vehicle, vessel or animal.
Provided that where immediately before requisitioning of the vehicle or vessel was by virtue of a hire purchase agreement in the possession of a person other than the owner, the amount determined under this sub-rule as the total compensation payable in respect of the requisition shall be apportioned between that person and the owner in such manner as they may agree upon, and in default of agreement in such a manner as the Collector may decide.
Manner of serving order to Requisition
73. An order of requisition under rule 71 shall be served.
(a) Where the person concerned to whom such order is addressed is an individual.
(i) By delivering or tendering the order; personally, or
(ii) By registered post with acknowledgement due, or
(iii) If, a person cannot be found, by laving an authentic copy of the order with any adult member of the family, or by affixing such copy to some conspicuous place in which he is known to have last resided or carried on business or personally worked.
(b) Where the person to whom such order is addressed is a corporation or Farm, in the manner provided for the service of summons in Rule-2 of Order XXIX or Rule 3 of Order XXX as the case may be, in the first schedule of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Election from requisitioned premises
74. (1) Any person remaining in possession or any person remaining in possession of any requisitioned premises in contravention of any order made under rule 71 may be summarily evicted from the premises by the Collector in this behalf.
(2) The Collector or any officer empowered may be him in this behalf may, after giving to any woman not appearing in public reasonable warning and facility to withdraw, remove or open any look or both or break open any door of any building or do any other act necessary for effecting such eviction.
Penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisition
75. If any person contravenes any order made under rule 71, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Release of premises from requisition
76. When any premises requisitioned under rule 71 are to be released from requisition, the possession thereof shall be given to the person from whom possession was taken at the time when premises were requisitioned, or if there is no such person, deemed by the Collector to be the owner of such premises, and such delivery of possession shall be a full discharge of the Collector from all liabilities in respect of such delivering but shall not prejudice any rights in respect of the premises which any other person may be entitled by due process of law to enforce against the person to whom possession of the premises is so delivered.
(2) Where a person to whom possession of any premises requisitioned under rule 71 is to be given under sub-rule (1) cannot be found or is not readily ascertainable or has no agent or any other person empowered to accept delivery of possession on his behalf, the Collector shall cause a notice declaring that such premises are released from the requisition to be affixed on some conspicuous part of such premises and on the office notice board of the Collector.
(3) When a notice referred to in sub-rule (2) is affixed the premises specified in such notice shall cease to be subject of requisition on and from the date of such affixing and be deemed to have been delivered to the person entitled to such possession thereof and the Collector shall not be liable for any compensation or other claim in respect of such premises for any period after the said date.
77. (1) A person shall be guilty of an electoral offence, if at any election, he —
(a) Fraudulently destroys or fraudulently defaces any nomination paper, or
(b) Fraudulently defences, destroys or removes any list, notice or other documents affixed by or under the authority of a Returning Officer, or
(c) Fraudulently defences or fraudulently destroys any Ballot Paper or the official mark on any Ballot Paper or any declaration of identity or official envelope used in connection with voting by person on election duty, or
(d) Without due authority, supplied any Ballot Paper to any person or receives any Ballot Paper from any person or is in possession of any Ballot Paper, or
(e) Fraudulently puts into any Ballot Box anything other than the Ballot paper which he is authorised by law to put in, or
(f) Without due authority destroys, takes, opens or otherwise interferes with any Ballot Box or Ballot Papers than in use for the purpose of the election, or
(g) Fraudulently or without due authority, as the case may be, attempts to do any of the foregoing acts or wilfully aids or abets the doing or any such acts.
(2) Any person guilty of an electoral offence under this rule shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both. The offence punishable under this rule shall be cognisable.
CHAPTER – X
DISPUTES REGARDING ELECTIONS
Presentation of petition
78. (1) The authority having jurisdiction to try an election petition shall be such as referred to in sub-section (1) of Sec. 20 of Act. An election petition calling in question any election may be presented on one or more grounds specified in sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Act by any candidate at such election or any elector entitled to vote at the election to which the petition relates within a period of 30 days from date of election of the returned candidate. Every election petition shall be accompanied by as many copies thereof as there are respondents mentioned in the petition and every such copy shall be attested by the petitioner under his own signature to be true copy.
(2) The petition shall contain a statement in brief of the material facts on which the petitioner relies and shall, where necessary, be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively. It shall be filled by the candidate and verified in the manner laid down the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, (5 of 1908).
(3) The petitioner may, in addition to claiming a declaration that the election of the returned candidate is void, claim a further declaration he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected.
(4) At the time of presenting an election petition the petitioner shall deposit, on obtaining order of the authority, as security for the cost of the petition, a sum of two hundred rupees. During the course of trial of an election petition, the authority may at any time, call upon the petition to give such further security for cost as it may direct.
(5) The authority shall, if the deposit in accordance with sub-rule (4) has been made proceed to enquire into the petition.
(6) The authority shall, as soon as may be cause a copy of the petition to be served on each opposite party.
Procedure to be followed
79. Every dispute relating to election shall be enquired into by the authority as early as may accordance with the procedure applicable under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 to 1908) to trial of suits.
The provision of the India Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872) shall apply in all respects to the trial of an election petition.
80. (1) An election petition may be withdrawn only by the leave of the authority.
(2) Where an application for withdrawal is made under sub-rule 91) notice thereof fixing a date for hearing of the application shall be given to all other parties to the petition.
(3) If, there are more petitions than one no application to withdraw shall be made except with the consent of all the petitioners.
(4) No application for withdrawal shall be granted, if in the opinion of the authority such application has been induced by any bargain or consideration which ought not to be allowed.
(4) If the application is granted, the petitioner shall be ordered to pay such cost to the opposite party as the authority may think fit.
Decision of the Authority
81. At the conclusion of the trial of an election petition, the authority shall back an appropriate order under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 20 of the Act, and also determining the cost to be paid. The order of the authority under this rule shall be communicated forthwith to the Election authority and the Government.
Grounds for declaring an election to be void
82. Subject to the provisions of sub-rule (2) of this rule, if the authority is of the opinion —
(a) That, on the date of Election a returned candidate was not qualified or was disqualified under Section 8 & 9 of the Act to be chosen to fill the seat in the General Council, or
(b) That corrupt practice has been committed by a returned candidate or his election agent or any other person with the consent of the returned candidate or his election agent, or
(c) That, any nomination has been improperly rejected, or
(d) That, the result of the election in so far as it concerns the returned candidate has been materially affected —
(i) By the improper acceptance of any nomination, or
(ii) By corrupt practice committed in the interest of returned candidate by an agent other than his election agent, or
(iii) By improper reception, refusal or rejection of any vote or reception of any vote which is void, or
(iv) Any non-compliance with the provision of the Act or any Rules or Orders made under the Act,
(e) That, a returned candidate or his agent or any other person with the convinance or his agent or any other person with the convinance of such candidate or agent has committed or abetted the commission of any election offence falling under Chapter IX-A of the Indian Panel Code (45 of 1860) or any law or rule relating to infringement of the secrecy of an election, then the election of such candidate shall be void.
(2) If, the authority is of the opinion that corrupt practice specified in sub-rule 91) which does not amount to any form of bribery, has been committed, and the authority is of further opinion that —
(a) No such corrupt practice was committed at the election by the candidate or his election agent and every such corrupt practice was committed contrary to the orders and without consent of the candidate or his election agent,
(b) Such candidate and his election agent took all reasonable means for preventing the commission or corrupt practices at the election and (c) in all other respect the election was free from any corrupt practice on the part of the candidate or any of his agents.
Then the authority may decide the election of the returned candidate to be not void.
Grounds for which a candidate other then the returned candidate may be declared to have been elected
83. If, any person who has lodged a petition has, in addition to calling in question the election of the returned candidate, claimed a declaration that he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected and the authority is of opinion —
(a) That, in fact the petitioner or such other candidate received a majority of the valid votes, or
(b) That, but for the votes obtained by the returned candidate by corrupt practices, the petitioner or such other candidate would have obtained a majority of the valid votes.
The authority shall after declaring the election of the returned candidate to be void, declare the petitioner or such other candidate as the case may be, to have been duly elected.
Fresh election at Courts order
84. When an election is declared void under clause (b) of sub-section (3) of section 20 the seat of the returned candidate shall be deemed to be vacant from the date of the order of the authority and the Government shall forthwith take necessary steps for holding election for filling the seat.
CHAPTER – XI
Custody of papers relating to elections
85. The Returning Officer shall keep in custody the packets referred in rule 54 and all other papers relating to election.
Production and inspection of election papers
86. The Returning Officer shall keep in safe custody
(a) The packets of unused Ballot Paper with counterfoil attached thereto,
(b) The packets of used Ballot Paper whether valid, tendered or rejected,
(c) The packets counterfoils of used Ballot Papers,
(d) The packets of marked copy of the electoral roll
These packets shall not be opened and their contents shall not be inspected by or produced before any person or authority except under the order of the Authority.
Disposal of Election papers
87. Subject to any direction to the contrary given by the Government or the Authority under section 20 of the Act.
(a) Packets of unused Ballot Papers shall be retained for a period of six months from the date of the election and shall thereafter be destroyed in such as manner as the Government may direct.
(b) The other packets referred to in rule 54 shall be retained for a period of one year from the date of election and shall thereafter be destroyed.
(c) All other papers relating to elections shall be retained for such period as the Government may direct in that behalf.
Return or forfeiture of candidates deposit
88. (1) Deposit made under rule 18 either be returned of the person making it or to his legal representative or forfeited to the Government in accordance with the provision of this rule.
(2) Except as hereinafter mentioned in the rule, the deposit shall be returned, as soon as possible, after the result of the election is declared.
(3) If, the candidate is not included in the list of contesting candidate, or he dies before the commencement of the pool, the deposit shall be returned as soon as practicable, after the publication of such list or after the death as the case may be.
(4) The deposit shall be forfeited, if at an election where a pool has been taken, the candidate is not elected and the number of valid votes polled by him does not exceed one sixth of the total valid votes polled by all the candidates.
CHAPTER – XII
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN
First meeting of the General Council
89. (1) The first meting of the General Council will be held within fifteen days from the date of publication of the result of elections of members under rule 68. Provided that the Government may extend the period of fifteen days by such period as it may think fit.
(2) The first meeting shall be presided over by the Election Authority. The Election Authority shall convene the first meeting of the General Council by sending notice to elected members specifying therein the date, time and place of the meeting in their registered addresses, at least, seventy two hours before the time fixed for such meting.
(3) At the meting referred to in sub-rule (1) or at any other meting of the General Council for the election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman, to be presided over by the Election Authority, the elected members shall elect from amongst them —
(a) One member to be Chairman,
(b) One member to be Vice-Chairman under section 31 of the Act.
Election Chairman procedure thereof
90. (a) An elected member present may proposed an elected member for the office of the Chairman.
(b) The proposal so made shall be seconded by another elected member.
(c) If, there is only one candidate duly proposed and Seconded, the Presiding Officer shall forthwith declared such candidate to be elected.
(d) If, there is more than one such candidate for election as Chairman, the president of the meeting shall supply to each elected member a voting paper containing the names of candidates who have been duly proposed and seconded and blank space opposite to each such name, after putting his signature on the back of the voting paper and obtaining the signature of each such member in the attendance sheet for the meeting in token to receipt of voting paper
(e) Each elected member shall record his vote by putting a (/) tick mark in the space opposite to the name of the candidate for a whom he intends to vote, fold the voting paper so as to maintain secrecy of the vote recorded and then deliver the voting paper to the president of the meeting.
(f) As soon as, all the voting papers have been delivered to the president of the meeting, he shall proceed with counting of valid votes secured by the individual candidate after rejecting any voting paper-
(i) Which does not bear on its back, the signature of the president of the meeting, or
(ii) If the (/) mark is placed opposite the names of more than one candidate, or
(iii) If the (/) mark placed against the name of a candidate cannot be ascertained.
(g) After completion of counting of valid votes scoured the individual candidate, the president of the meeting shall be declare the candidate to whom largest number of valid votes has been given to be elected as Chairman. In case of equality of votes between any candidates the president will decide by drawing of lots as under rule 67 and proceed as if the candidate on whom the lot falls has received an additional vote.
Election of Vice-Chairman procedure thereof
91. The procedure laid down in rule 90 shall apply in case of election of Vice-Chairman at a meeting convened under rule 89.
Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman in case of vacancy
92. (a) In the case of a vacancy in the office of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman as the case may be reason of death, resignation removal or otherwise in new Chairman or Vice-Chairman as the case may be shall be elected at a meeting of the General Council within one month of the occurrence of such vacancy.
(b) The meeting shall be convened by the Chairman Executive Officer on such date and place as the Government may fix.
(c) Notice of such meeting shall be given by the Chairman Executive Officer at least ten days before the date fixed for such meeting, by causing it to be sent to the registered addresses of each member at least seventy two hours before the time fixed for such meeting.
(d) The procedure for election of the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman as the case may be, shall be as laid down in rule 90 and the Chairman in case, or election of Vice-Chairman and the Vice-Chairman in case of election of Chairman shall preside over such meeting. In a situation when the offices of both Chairman and Vice-Chairman are vacant, the procedure prescribed in rule 89, 90 and 91 shall apply.
CHAPTER – XIII
Removal of difficulties if any by the Government
93. (1) The Government may issue such general or special instructions as may in its opinion be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to these rules or holding any election under the Act and Rules thereunder.
(2) If, any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provision of these rules or holding of any elections under this Act and rules thereunder the Government as the occasion requires, may be order, do anything which appears to it to be necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulties.
94. As regards matters not provided in these rules the matters shall be guided by the rules under the Representation of Peoples Act 1951 (43 of 1951).
Commissioner & Secy, to the Govt. of Assam WPT & BC Department Dispur.