Lok Sabha Elections 2019 – Transfer of officers
General Elections to House of the People (Lok Sabha), 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim Transfer/Posting of officers
The term of existing House of the People (Lok Sabha) and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim are upto 3rd June, 2019, 18th June, 2019, 1st June, 2019, 11th June, 2019 and 27th May, 2019, respectively.
2. The Commission has been following a consistent policy that officers directly connected with conduct of elections in an election going State/UT are not posted in their home districts or places where they have served for considerably long period.
3. Hence, the Commission has decided that no officer connected directly with elections shall be allowed to continue in the present district of posting:-
(i) if she/he is posted in her/his home district.
(ii) if she/he has completed three years in that district during last four (4) years or would be completing 3 years on or before 31st May, 2019.
4. While implementing the above said instructions/transferring officers, the concerned departments of the State Govt. should take care that they are not posted in their home districts. It shall also be ensured that no DEO/RO/ARO/ Police inspectors/Sub-inspector or above is posted back or allowed to continue in the AC /district where he/she was posted during the General/Bye elections held in the Assembly prior to 31st May, 2017.
5. If any small state/UT with a few number of districts, face any difficulty in compliance of the above instruction, then it may refer the specific case with reasons to the Commission through CEO for exemption and the Commission would issue directions, if considered necessary.
6.1 These instructions shall cover not only officers appointed for specific election duties like DEOs, Dy. DEOs, RO/AROs, EROs/AEROs, officers appointed as nodal officers of any specific election works but also district officers like ADMs, SDMs, Dy. Collector/Joint Collector, Tehsildar, Block Development Officers or any other officer of equal rank directly deployed for election works.
6.2 These instructions shall also be applicable to the police department officers such as Range IGs, DIGs, Commandants of State Armed Police, SSPs, SPs, Addl. SPs, Sub-Divisional Head of Police, SHOs, Inspectors, Sub-Inspector, RIs / Sergeant Majors or equivalent ranks, who are responsible for security arrangement or deployment of police forces in the district at election time.
7. Following clarifications/relaxations issued by the Commission, from time to time, are for information/guidance of all the concerned:-.
(i) The police officials who are posted in functional departments like computerization, special branch, training, etc. are not covered under these instructions.
(ii) The Police Sub-Inspectors and above should not be posted in their home district.
(iii) If a police sub-Inspector has completed or would be completing a tenure of 3 years out of four years on or before the cutoff date in a police sub-division, then he should be transferred out to a police sub-division which does not fall in the same AC. If that is not possible due to small size of district, then he/she should be transferred out of the district.
(iv) During an election a large number of employees are drafted for different types of election duty and the Commission has no intention of massive dislocation of state machinery by large scale transfers. Hence, the aforesaid transfer policy is normally not applicable to officers/officials who are not directly connected with elections like doctors, engineers, teachers/principals etc. However, if there are specific complaints of political bias or prejudice against any such govt. officer, which on enquiry, are found to be substantiated, then CEO/ECI may order not only the transfer of such official but also appropriate departmental action against the said officer.
(v) The officers appointed as Sector Officer/Zonal Magistrate involved in election duties are not covered under these instructions. However, the observers, CEO/DEOs and ROs should keep a close watch on their conduct to ensure that they are fair and non-partisan in the performance of their duties.
(vi) While calculating the period of three years, promotion to a post within the district is to be counted.
(vii) These instructions do not apply to the officers posted in the State headquarters of the department concerned.
(viii) It is further directed that the officers/officials against whom the Commission had recommended disciplinary action in past and which is pending or which has resulted in a penalty or the officers who have been charged for any lapse in any election or election related work in the past, shall not be assigned any election related duty. However, an officer who was transferred during any past election under the Commission’s order without any recommendation of disciplinary actions will not be, just on this ground, considered for transfer, unless specifically so directed by the Commission. A copy of the Commission’s instruction number 464/INST/2008-EPS dated 23rd December 2008 regarding tracking of names of tainted officers is enclosed. CEOs must ensure its compliance.
(ix) The Commission further desires that no officer/official, against whom a criminal case is pending in any court of law, be associated with/deployed on election related duty.
(x) Further, the Chief Electoral Officer of the State/UT shall invariably be consulted while posting the persons in place of present incumbents who stand transferred as per the above policy of the Commission. A copy of each of the transfer orders issued under these directions shall be given to the Chief Electoral Officer without fail.
(xi) The transfer orders in respect of officers/officials, who are engaged in the electoral rolls revision work, if any, during an election year shall be implemented only after final publication of the electoral rolls, in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer concerned. In case of any need for transfer due to any extra ordinary reasons, prior approval of the Commission shall be taken.
(xii) Any officer, who is due to retire within the coming six months will be exempted from the purview of the Commission’s directions mentioned in para-3. Further, officer falling in the category (home/3+ criteria and due to retire within 6 months) if holding an election related post mentioned in para 6.1 and 6.2, shall be relieved of that charge and not be associated with any election related duty. It is however, reiterated that such retiring officer need not be transferred out of the district.
(xiii) It is further clarified that all the officials of the State (except those posted in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer), who are on extension of service or re-employed in different capacities, will not be associated with any election related work.
(xiv) All election related Officers will be required to give a declaration in the format given below to the DEO concerned, who shall inform to CEO accordingly.
(To be submitted within 2 days after the last date of nomination papers)
I……………….(Name)…………..presently posted …………….from………….(Date)
Do hereby make a solemn declaration, in connection with the current General/Bye election to Lok Sabha/……………(Legislative Assembly that……………..
(a) I am not a close relative of any of the contesting candidates in the current election/leading political functionary of the state/district at the aforesaid election.
(b) No criminal case is pending against me in any court of law.
Note- If answer of (a) or (b) above is ‘YES’, then give full details in a separate sheet.
NOTE- Any false declaration made by any officer shall invite appropriate disciplinary actions.
8. The Commission’s aforesaid instructions shall be brought to notice of the concerned departments/offices or State Govt. for their strict compliance. The DEO or concerned district officers shall ensure that officers/officials who are transferred should immediately handover their charge without waiting for their substitute.
9. The Commission has further directed that transfers/postings of all officers covered under the above instructions shall be done by 28th February, 2019, and compliance reports with details of action obtained from the concerned departments/offices of State Government furnished to the Commission by first week of March, 2019.