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Records of poll code violation gutted in fire: RTI query

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Records of violations of code of conduct in previous three Lok Sabha polls have been destroyed in fire, a response to a RTI query has revealed

records burnedMumbai: Records of violations of code of conduct in previous three Lok Sabha polls have been destroyed in fire, a response to a RTI query has revealed.

RTI activist Anil Galgali, who filed the query with Chief Electoral Officer, said in the current Lok Sabha polls there are reports and cases of many violations of code of conduct by all political parties.

To have an insight into how such cases are treated by the Election Commission, he filed a query with the chief election officer seeking information about the status of cases filed during the past three parliamentary polls.

In reply to the query, the GAD (General Administration Department) under the Chief Election Officer (CEO) replied that, all the records of action taken on violations in the past elections have been destroyed in the fire incident at Mantralaya in June 2012.

Galgali had filed a query with the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra on April 7 seeking information about cases registered against candidates for violations of various code of conduct during past three Lok Sabha elections.

He also sought to know how many MPs’ elections were set aside and re-elections conducted in those constituencies.

Shirish Mohod, Under Secretary and Public Information Officer in the Chief Electoral Office, in a reply informed Galgali that all the files and records pertaining to query have been destroyed in the massive fire in Mantralaya (the state Secretariat) on June 21, 2012.

“Hence the office has no records to give information regarding the query,” said the reply.

“It is very unfortunate to note that, despite the orders of the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra to reconstruct all the files destroyed in the fire, the GAD looking into the election work has ignored the restoration work,” Galgali said.

Once elections are over, strong action needs to be taken on the violation of code of conduct by defaulting candidates, he said, adding that this will act as a strong deterrent for violations by candidates henceforth.

PTI

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