The Election Commission (EC) of India on Thursday issued guidelines to all chief secretaries of states regarding postings and transfers of officers in view of the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.
Chief electoral officer, Punjab, Raminder Singh issued instructions that no officer connected with the elections, directly or indirectly, should be allowed to continue the present district of posting if he or she is posted in his/her home district or if he/she has completed three year in that district during the past four years or would be completing three years on or before May 31, 2014.
The state government has been asked to strictly follow the cut-off date and accordingly, the three-year period may be reckoned from May 31, 2014.
The CEO clarified that these instructions covered officers appointed for specific duty such as district election officers, deputy election officers, returning officers and assistant returning officers and other district officers such as additional district magistrates, deputy collectors, subdivisional magistrates (SDMs), tehsildars, block development officers (BDOs) or any other officer proposed to be deployed for election work.
Clarifying the position regarding officers of the police department, Raminder Singh said these instructions would be applicable to range IGs, DIGs, commandants of state armed police, SSPs, SPs, additional SPs, sub-divisional heads of police, inspectors or equivalent rank who are responsible for the deployment of police force in the district concerned during election time.
The police officials who are posted in departments such as computerisation, special branch training, are not covered under these instructions. Police officers of the level of sub-inspectors should not be posted in their home assembly constituencies and they should be transferred out of the assembly constituency.
The instructions do not apply to officers posted in the state headquarters or department concerned, he clarified. He said no officer against whom a criminal case was pending in any court of law be associated with election work or election duty.
The CEO clarified that all officials who stood transferred should be asked to move physically out of the district immediately after getting transfer orders.
He said while implementing these instructions, the commission desired that the CEO shall invariably be consulted in posting the new persons in place of present incumbents who stand transferred in pursuance of these instructions.
Any officer who is due to retire within the coming six months would be exempted from transfer. Officers who are on extension or re-employed would not be associated with election duty. The commission has sought action-taken report from all states by February 15.