HANDBOOKS


HANDBOOK FOR RETURNING OFFICERS


POLLING STATIONS

Publication of the List of Polling Stations in Draft.-

6.1 Under section 25 of the R.P. Act, 1951, the District Election Officer is required with the previous approval of the Election Commission, to provide a sufficient number of polling stations for every constituency, the whole or greater part of which lies within his jurisdiction. In the Union Territories, the Returning Officer will be responsible for this work.

6.2 It should not ordinarily be difficult to decide the district in which the greater part of a constituency lies. Where, however, a Parliamentary constituency comprises, say, eight Assembly Constituencies and four of them lie in one district, and the remaining four in another district it may not be so easy to ascertain the district in which the greater part of the constituency lies. In such a case the Chief Electoral Officer should decide the question with reference to the location of the headquarters of the Returning Officer of the constituency, the number of voters of that constituency in different parts in the different districts or of the population of those parts, and communicate the same to the District Election Officers of the districts concerned. The District Election Officer of the district in which, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, the greater part of the constituency lies, will then be responsible for the provision of polling stations for the entire Parliamentary Constituency.

6.3 It is also possible that in the case of a Parliamentary Constituency most of the component Assembly constituency may fall in one district and a portion or portions may fall in another district or districts. In such cases, the polling stations provided by the District Election Officer of the other district or districts should be adopted in whole by the District Election Officer of the district in which the major part lies as the polling stations for the Parliamentary Constituency for which he is required to provide polling stations.

6.4 After the list has been prepared on the lines indicated above the District Election Officer/Returning Officer should publish it in draft, in the language or languages of the electoral roll for the constituency, for general information, inviting objections and suggestions by a specified date, allowing a period of not less than seven days. The notice of publication of the draft list of polling stations and places at which it can be inspected should also be given in local newspapers and written objections or suggestions invited for consideration.

6.5 Copies of the lists should be supplied to the local branches of all recognised political parties and to the sitting members of the House of the People and Assembly Constituencies concerned or to ex-members of the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly in case the House of the People, or the Legislative Assembly stands dissolved.

6.6 The District Election Officer/Returning Officer should thereafter call the party representatives and legislators to a meeting and discuss the draft list and the suggestions received. Any bona fide intending candidate who wishes to take part in the discussions at this meeting should also be permitted to do so.

6.7 The District Election Officer/Returning Officer should then take his decisions, amend the draft list where necessary and finalise the draft list of polling stations for the constituency. He should then forward it, along with the map, to the Commission, through the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, along with the scrutiny sheet and the certificates in the forms prescribed in Annexures VII-A and VII-B

.6.8 The Chief Electoral Officer, after scrutiny, will forward the list and other enclosures to the Election Commission for approval with his comments.

6.9 The Commission will then consider and approve the proposed list of polling stations, with any changes it deems necessary. The list finally approved by the Commission should be published as directed in para 7 of this Chapter.

Note :- (a) The approval of the Commission will be communicated by the Election Commission direct to the District Election Officer/Returning Officer with copy to the Chief Electoral Officer. After the approval of the Commission is received, the District Election Officer/Returning Officer, should once again check the list to see whether there are any errors and incorporate the changes, if any, suggested by the Commission in the list.

(b) Along with the list, the District Election Officer/Returning Officer should send a scrutiny sheet duly filed in and a certificate in the prescribed form (Annexure VII-B).

(c) When the list is forwarded to the Commission in a language, other than English, it should be accompanied by a translation in English. There is no need to print or cyclostyle the approved list of polling stations in English. However, there would be no objection to this being done if copies in English are required for official use or by the public.



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