EC defines the roles of observers in delhi elections

Conducting free and fair elections in the Municipal, State and National levels is one of the prime responsibilities of the Election Commission as per the Constitution of India. While declaring the general elections, the EC usually publishes a press note containing all the crucial information regarding the conduct of a given election. The press note issued on January 6, 2020 sets the phase for the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi on February 9, 2020.

The role of Observers in Elections

The EC deploys different kinds of observers to oversee the elections and report the lacunae, non-compliances and violations that come to surface. The above mentioned press note details the roles of different kinds of observers in the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections scheduled on February 11, 2020.

1. General Observers

The EC will deploy General Observers in sufficient numbers to work for the smooth conduct of the upcoming election. General observers will closely watch the election process during every stage and ensure that the election is conducted in a free and fair manner.

2. Police Observers

EC will deploy IPS officers who will function as Police Observers at District/AC level. The number of police observers in a given region will depend on the requirement, degree of sensitivity and the assessment of the ground situation of the District or AC. The role of the police observers will include monitoring all the activities connected to force deployment, law and order situations, coordinating between the civil and police administration to ensure a free and fair election.

3. Special Observers

In discharging the plenary powers bestowed upon it by the Constitution of India vide Article 324, the EC will deploy special observers who will be drawn from All India Services and different Central Services. The responsibilities of the special observers will include assessing the poll preparedness in an objective way and find out the critical gaps, guiding the DEO/RO on ensuring free and fair elections. The special observers will guide, advise on and facilitate the measures by the DEO/RO in arranging for the polls and ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and participatory way.

4. Expenditure Observers

The EC will also appoint an adequate number of Expenditure Observers and Assistant Expenditure Observers whose exclusive responsibility will be to monitor the expenditures of the contesting candidates. During the entire process of elections, Control room and Complaint Monitoring Center will operate with 24 hours toll free numbers. Banks and financial intelligence bodies will be asked to send information regarding suspicious cash withdrawals to the election officials.

5. Micro Observers

As per the existing system, the General Observers are also asked to deploy Micro-Observers, drawn from the pool of Central Government/PSUs Officials, for observing the poll proceedings on date of polling especially in the critical and vulnerable polling stations. The responsibility of the Micro-Observers will be to observe the polling process at the polling stations on the date of polling from the mock polls till the completion of polls and the sealing of the EVMs and VVPATs and other documents. They will ensure that the polling agents and polling parties will comply with the EC’s instructions. If there are any violations noticed in the polling station allotted to them, the micro-observers will directly report to the General Observers.

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