Nagaland chief electoral officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha on Monday warned that booth capturing in the elections will invite imprisonment for a term not less than one year and may extend to three years with fine.
In an official release, Sinha said open declaration of support in favour of a particular candidate or political party by a village or ward or khel or community through public announcement and even through publication in electronic or print media violates the provisions of the conduct of elections.
He said if any village or ward or community or group of people or media house is found violating or defying the provisions of conduct of elections in connection with any future elections, appropriate legal action will be initiated against the violator (s) in the interest of free, fair, transparent election and administering social order.
The CEO mentioned that Article 326 of the Constitution grants universal adult suffrage to every eligible Indian citizen, Rule 39 of the Conduct of Elections 1961 directs to maintain secrecy of vote by electors and Section 135A of Representation of the People Act 1951 specifies the punishment on booth capturing.
In another release, Kohima deputy commissioner and district election officer Anoop Khinchi said restriction on the printing of pamphlets and posters as governed by the provisions of Section 127A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 will be strictly observed in the district during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The Nagaland CEO directed all printing presses in the district to indicate clearly in the print line names and addresses of printer and publisher of any election pamphlets, posters or such other materials printed by them.
He also directed the printers to send three copies of the printed materials and the declaration obtained from the publishers as required under Section 127A (2) within three days of printing to his office.
Any violation of the provisions of Section 127 A and the directives of the Election Commission shall be viewed seriously and stern action, including revocation of the license of the printing press, will be taken under the relevant laws of the state, Khinchi said.