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EC directs Bihar govt to delete 'criminals' names from rolls

August 05, 2005 19:47 IST

The Election Commission has directed the state government to delete from the electoral rolls, the names of those persons against whom non-bailable warrants (NBWs) could not be executed for more than six months.

"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 Electoral Roll Officers concerned by taking suo motu action under Section 22 of the Representation of People Act 1950," the EC said in a press note on Friday.

Observing that the EROs would take action after following the laid down procedure, the EC asked the state government to furnish to the Chief Electoral Officer by August 19, a complete list of persons giving the full details of their residential addresses, against whom NBWs have remained unexecuted for more than six months.

Concerned over the large number of unexecuted non-bailable warrants and low recovery of illegal arms and ammunition in poll-bound Bihar, the Commission had earlier directed the state administration to step up efforts in this regard. It had noted that as on July 14, as many as 23,616 NBWs were pending for execution.

Under Section 22 of the RP Act, the name of a person, who has ceased to be ordinarily resident in the constituency, could be deleted by the ERO at any time before the last date for the nomination of candidates from the constituency, the EC said.

"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," it said, adding in such a case, the person concerned could not validly claim that his name should continue to be registered in the electoral roll at the mentioned address.

During the last assembly elections in Bihar, the Patna high court gave a direction that if any such proclaimed offender/absconder turned up for filing his nomination papers, the police authorities should arrest them and produce them before the court.

Following this, 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 through their proposers, the EC said.

"It will be the responsibility of the District Election Officers concerned to ensure that the concerned EROs under them take immediate remedial action to delete the names of such persons from the electoral rolls, after complying with the requirements and giving a reasonable opportunity," it said.

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