Many instances have come to the notice of the Election Commission of India wherein Chief Electoral Officers and some other officials working directly in the office of Chief Electoral Officers, e.g., Additional Chief Electoral Officers and Joint Chief Electoral Officers, etc. have been victimised after the elections are over. Ironically, in most such instances the concerned officers had discharged their duties in an impartial manner in order to ensure free, fair, robust and ethical elections. After a comprehensive review of this issue and keeping in view such specific instances, Commission has addressed a communication to all concerned vide its letter No. 154/2020, dated 15-01-2021 inter alia stating: –
(i) The state/UT governments shall invariably obtain prior approval of the Commission, if any disciplinary action is initiated against the Chief Electoral Officers and other officers up to Joint Chief Electoral Officer during their tenure and also up to one year from the expiry of last election conducted by them.
(ii) Commission has also directed that the State/UT government shall not reduce facilities such as vehicle, security and other facilities/amenities provided to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer for proper discharge of his/her duties.
Commission is sanguine in the expectation that all concerned shall strictly adhere to this regimen in letter as well as in spirit.
Copy of the above instruction is available on the ECI website https://eci.gov.in.
[Press Release dt. 15-01-2021]