Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Elections to MPTCs/ZPTCs- Polling on 21.03.2020 - Conduct of Government Servants. G.O.RT.No. 156, Dated: 11-03-2020.


Elections- Elections to MPTCs/ZPTCs-  Polling on 21.03.2020  - Conduct of Government  Servants  -  Orders  – Issued.

                G.O.RT.No. 156                                                 Dated: 11-03-2020            

     From the Secretary, State Election Commission, Vijayawada Letter   No.73/SEC-B1/2020, dated.07.03.2020.


     The Government  desire  to  impress on  all  Government  Servants that Sub-rule  (5) and  (6)  of Rule  19  of the  Andhra  Pradesh  Civil Services(Conduct)  Rules,  1964,  which  are  reproduced below,  define  the position of  Government  Servants in  relation  to elections to the State and Central Legislatures  and Panchayat Raj bodies :

    19(5)  No  Government  employee  shall canvass or  otherwise interfere or  use his influence,  in  connection  with,  or  take  part  in  an  election  to  parliament or  any  House  of  a State Legislature or  any  local  authority  or  body;

Provided  that ...........  

(i) A  Government  employee  qualified  to  vote  at  such  election  may  cast  his vote  but,  where he  does  so,  he  shall  give  no  indication of  the  manner  in which  he proposes to  vote or  has voted; 

(ii)  A  Government  employee  shall  not  be  deemed  to  have  contravened the  provisions  of  the  Rule  by  reason  only  that  he  has  assisted  in  the conduct  of  an  election  in  the  due  performance  of  a  duty  imposed  on  him by  or  under  any  law  for the time being in  force. 

(iii)  The display by  a  Government employee  on his  person,  vehicle, residence  or  any  of  his  property,  of  any  election  symbol  shall  amount  to using his influence  in connection  with  a election  the meeting the meaning  of  sub-rule(5)”. 
2. It  is  the  duty  of  the  Government  Servants  to  be  scrupulously impartial  in  the  discharge  of  their  duties  in  connection  with  elections. Besides  being  strictly  impartial,  they  should  conduct themselves  in such  a  manner as to inspire confidence  in the  public  in  regard  to  their impartiality  and to give  no  room for  suspicion on  any account that  they are  favouring  any  party  or  candidate.  The  Government  servants  should not take  part in any election campaign or in canvassing or attending political  meetings  or rallies and they  should  take  scrupulous  care  not to  lend  their names,  official  position  or  authority  to  assist  any  group,  party or person, except  exercising  their right to  vote in  accordance with  election to  the Panchayat Raj  Institutions must  be  confined  to  the  conscientious and diligent  discharge  of  any  election  duties  which  may  be  entrusted  to  them  by the competent  authority.

3. No  Government Servant  should act  as  an  election agent  or   a  or  an agent  of  any  candidate  at  an  election as  per  Section  222,  223 and  224 of Andhra  Pradesh Panchayat  Raj  Act  1994,   which  read as  follows:-

222.  Breaches of  official  duty  in connection with elections:- 

(1)  If  any person  to  whom this section applies  is  without reasonable  cause guilty  of  any  act  omission  in  breach  of  his  official  duty,  he  shall  be punishable  with  fine  which may extend five hundred rupees. 

(2)  No  suit  or  other  legal  proceedings  shall  lie  against  any such  person for  damages  in  respect  of  such act  or  omission  as  aforesaid. 

(3)  The  persons  to  whom  this  section  applies  are  the  District  Election officers,  Returning  Officers, Assistant  Returning  officers,  Presiding officers,  Polling  Officers and any other person appointed to perform any duty  in  connection with  the receipt of  nominations or  withdrawal of candidatures,  or  the  recording or  counting  of  votes  at an  election  and the expression  “official duty” shall for the purpose of  this  section  be  construed accordingly  but  shall  not  include  duties  imposed  otherwise  then  by  or under  this  Act. 

223. Penalty  for Government  servants  etc.,  for  acting  as election agent,  polling  agent or  counting agent: 

If  any  person  in  the  service  of  the  State  or  Central  Government  or  a local  authority  or a  Corporation owned  or controlled by the  State or Central  Government,  acts as  an election  agent to  a  candidate  at  an election,  he  shall  be  punishable  with  imprisonment  for  a  term  which may  extend  to  three  months, or  with  fine  or  with  both. 

224. Offence of  booth  capturing  :- 

(1)  whoever  commits  an  offence  of  booth  capturing  shall  be  punishable with  imprisonment  for  a  term which  shall  not  be  less  than  one  year but  which  may  extend to  three  years and with  fine, and where  such offence  is  committed  by  a  person  in  the service of  the Government,  he shall  be  punishable  with  imprisonment  for a term  which  shall not be less than  three years  but  which  may extend  to  five  years  and  with fine. 

Explanation:  For  the  purpose of  this  section  and section  232A  “Booth Capturing  includes,  among other things,  all  or  any of the  following activities, namely:- 

    (a) Seizure of  a polling  station or  a place fixed for the  poll  by  any person  or  persons,  making polling authorities  surrender  the ballot papers or voting machines and  doing  of  any  other  act  which  affects  the orderly  conduct  of  elections; 

    (b) Taking  possession  of a polling  station or  a place fixed for  the poll  by  any  person  or  persons  and allowing  only  his  or  their  own supporters to  excercise their  right  to  vote  and  prevent  others  from  free exercise  of their right  to  vote; 

    (c) Coercing or intimidating or  threatening  directly or indirectly threatening  any  elector and preventing  him  from  going to the polling station  or  a  place  fixed  for the  poll to cast  his vote; 

    (d) Seizure of  a  place  for  counting  of  votes  by  any person  or persons,  making  the counting  authorities surrender the ballot  papers or  voting  machines  and 

    (e)  Doing by  any person  in  the  service  of  Government, of  all  or  any of  the aforesaid  activities  or  aiding  or  conniving  at,  any  such  activity  in  the furtherance  of  the  prospects  of  the  election  of  a  candidate.  

(2) An  offence  punishable  under  sub-section(1)  shall  be  congnizable”. 
4.   Various  parties etc.,  may  apply  for  permission  to  hold  election meetings  in  a  public  place and  while granting  permission  for  such meetings,  no  distinction  should  be  made  between  one  political  party  and another  and  if  more parties  than  one  apply  for  permission  to  hold  a meeting at  the same  place on the same day  and  at  the  same  hour,  only  the party  which  has  applied  first  should  be  allowed  to  hold the meeting.

5.    The  Government,  direct  that  the  above provisions of  the  Acts  and Andhra  Pradesh  Civil  Services(Conduct) Rules,  1964  should  be  strictly followed  by  all  the  Government  servants.  The  Government  however, wish  to  assure  the  Government  servants of  all  ranks that, so  long  as they discharge  their  duties  impartially and in accordance with  the law and instructions  issued  by  the  Government,  they will  be fully  protected by  the Government  and  no  victimization aced be  apprehended.

6.    The District  Collectors  are  requested to  communicate  these  instructions to  the Government  servants  of  all  grades  of  various  offices  in  the  District.

7.    The  receipt  of  the  Government order  should be  acknowledged.




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