Microsoft word - pn_05082005.doc

Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001

No.ECI/PN/33/2005 Dated:
5th August, 2005
Deletion of names of electors declared as absconders, etc.
In connection with the ensuing general election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly, the Commission has obtained information from the State Government of Bihar with regard to, inter alia, non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued by various courts which have remained unexecuted, and has instructed the State authorities to get them executed expeditiously. The information received from the State Government shows a very dismal position inasmuch as a very large number of NBWs have remained unexecuted. It is possible that some of these may have remained unexecuted for quite a long period. The non-execution of an NBW implies that the person, against whom that NBW has been issued, is not available at the address given in that warrant and that the police authorities and the court agencies have not been able to contact that person at the given address for execution of that warrant against him. If an NBW remains unexecuted for quite a long period, the presumption is that the person concerned was not available at his given address despite repeated visits of the agencies entrusted with the task of execution of those warrants. In many cases, the persons against whom the NBWs could not be executed for long periods have even been proclaimed by the courts concerned as absconders under the provisions of Sections 82 and 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. 3. It is common knowledge that many of these proclaimed offenders/absconders have been contesting elections. At the time of the last elections in Bihar, the Hon’ble Patna High Court gave a direction that if any such proclaimed offender/absconder turns up for filing his nomination papers, the police authorities should arrest them from the office of the Returning Officer and produce them before the court concerned. Pursuant to this direction of the Hon’ble High Court, several persons were arrested by the police when they came to file their nominations; but, in many other cases, these absconders evaded arrest by getting their nomination papers filed The whole matter has been carefully examined by the Commission. One of the essential qualifications for contesting an election to Parliament or State Legislatures is that the person aspiring to be a candidate must be registered as an elector in a constituency (see Sections 3 to 6 of the R.P. Act 1951). And one of the essential conditions to be eligible for enrolment as an elector in any constituency is that he must be ordinarily resident in that constituency [see Section 19(b) of the R.P. Act 1950]. A person who is absent from his given address for long periods and is not available to, or traceable by, the police authorities and the agencies entrusted with the task of executing NBW against him can, as a logical consequence, be presumed to be not ordinarily resident at that address. If his name is registered as an elector at that given address, the presumption that he is ordinarily resident at that place is no longer valid in his case and thereby the basic essential eligibility condition for enrolment under Section 19(b) of the R.P. Act 1950 is missing in his case. In such a case, the person concerned cannot validly claim that his name should continue to be registered in the electoral roll at the Under Section 22 of the R.P. Act 1950, the name of a person who has ceased to be ordinarily resident in the constituency can be deleted by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) at any time before the last date for the nomination of candidates at an election from the constituency. This deletion of name under Section 22 can be done by the ERO even suo motu, after giving a reasonable opportunity to the person concerned of being heard in respect of the action proposed to be taken in relation to him. Having regard to the above legal position, the Commission has decided that the names of all those persons against whom NBWs could not be executed for more than six months, which would mean that those persons
are not ordinarily resident at least for the last six months at their given addresses, should be deleted by the EROs concerned by taking suo motu action under Section 22 of the R.P. Act 1950, after following the procedure laid down therein. In order to enable the EROs to take necessary action under said Section 22, the State Government of Bihar is being asked to furnish to the Chief Electoral Officer, Bihar a complete list of persons giving the full details of their residential addresses, against whom the NBWs have remained unexecuted for more than six months. Such list is to be furnished by the State Government latest by 19th August, 2005 (Friday). It will then be the responsibility of the District Election Officers concerned to ensure that the concerned EROs under them take immediate remedial action under Section 22 of the R.P. Act 1950 to delete the names of such persons from the electoral rolls, after complying with the requirements of the said section of giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the persons concerned. The EROs have been instructed to complete this whole process of deletion of names under Section 22 latest by 19th September, 2005. 7. This decision was taken by Shri B.B. Tandon, Chief Election Commissioner and Shri N. Gopalaswami, Election Commissioner in the meeting of the Commission held yesterday. (R.K. SRIVASTAVA)


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