Implement Transfer Policy in Letter and Spirit: ECI to States & UTs

TNI Bureau: In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha election across the country, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday directed the State governmenta and Union Territories to implement the transfer policy both letter and spirit.

In its letter the ECI said, “Taking serious note of the cases wherein officers are being transferred/posted in the adjacent districts within the same Parliamentary Constituency by the state governments, the Commission has strengthened its existing transfer policy to ensure that officials are not able to disturb the level playing field in the elections.”

“Plugging the loopholes in the existing instructions, the Commission has directed that, except for the States/UTs that comprise up to two Parliamentary Constituencies, all States shall ensure that officers who are transferred out of the district are not posted within the same Parliamentary Constituency,” it added.

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It has been reiterated that the transfer policy of the Commission must be adhered to in both letter and spirit and not just be camouflaged to show compliance, the poll panel said adding that this rule applies retrospectively to transfers and postings that have already been implemented following the Commission’s prior instructions.

The letter further said, “As per ECI policy, all the officers who were either posted in their home district or have completed three years at a place have been directed to be transferred. This includes officers who are in any way connected to the election work either directly or in a supervisory capacity.”

There has been a zero-tolerance policy of the Commission against disturbing the level playing field in the elections. It may be recalled that in the recently held 5 state assembly elections, the Commission ordered the transfer of various officials, even senior-level police officials in the state(s).

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