COMPENDIUM OF INSTRUCTIONS


HOLIDAYS

General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly- Local Holiday(s) on the polling day(s) by the State Governments and Central Government- Request for declaring holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Election Commission's letter No. 78/84, dt. 9th November, 1984 to Chief Secretaries/Chief Electoral Officers and Ministry of Law and Justice.
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Subject : General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly Local Holiday (S) on the polling day (S) by the State Government and Central Government Request for declaring holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

I am directed to state that in connection with elections, it has been the practice of both the Central and State Governments to declare the polling day or days as holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. Such a course is necessary to make it convenient for every voter to exercise his right of franchise in the election. The Ministry of Home Affairs (Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms), Government of India, has also been taking similar action in respect of the offices under the administrative control of the Government of India located in the States.

2. In cases, the day of the poll does not fall on a Sunday or a public holiday, already declared as such under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the working classes may not get sufficient opportunity to exercise their franchise. In such cases, it is requested that the State Governments should declare the day of the poll as a public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

As regards Commercial and Industrial establishments and shops to which the public holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act do not apply, it is suggested that the State Governments should direct their Labour Commissioners to issue instructions to Commercial and Industrial establishments in the private sector to declare a paid holiday for their workers on the day or days of the poll.

3. The Municipal Corporations, Municipal Committees and other local bodies may also be asked to take action likewise.

4. It may also be considered whether under the Shops And Commercial Establishments Act, the day or days of the poll in any constituency may be declared as a closed holiday for all shops and commercial establishments in the constituency instead of the usual day/days observed by them as closed holidays during the week.

5. Again under section 52 of the Factories Act, 1948, factories may be asked to declare the weekly holiday on the day of the poll in the constituency in which establishments are situated instead of the first day of the week as provided in the section.

6. There may be appreciable number of electors ordinarily resident in one area but having the place of work in another area. For example, persons may be commuting daily long distance to reach places of their occupation or work in cities like Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and the date of poll may be different in respect of their place of residence and the place of their work. In such cases, such voters should be given special leave or maximum facilities to exercise their right to vote.

The Commission desires that action on the above lines may be taken and a copy of each of the orders issued by the State Government may be endorsed to it for its information and record.

8. The Commission's communication in its letter No. 78/79, dated 24th November, 1979, may be treated as cancelled.

9. The receipt of this letter may kindly be acknowledged immediately.



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