Chandigarh May 10: The State Election Commission, Punjab today directed all the District Electoral Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners and Additional District Electoral Officers–cum-Additional Deputy Commissioners (Dev.) in the State to record through videography of main critical events during the process of election with a view to have a true, faithful and concurrent record of the violations of election laws.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Election Commission, Punjab said that the concerned District Electoral Officer in consultation with the Observers could make arrangements to record through videography of main critical events during the process of election particularly on the day of poll. For this purpose, video cameras and crew available with the Governmental or semi-Governmental agencies or local professional videographers could be used/hired.
The Commission has also directed that Videography would be carried out in the sensitive polling station on random basis or as required by the urgency of local situation. It could also be used to record commission of corrupt practices in the electoral process. The District Electoral Officer / Addl. District Electoral Officer could decide upon the number of video teams required for the purpose.
The Commission has advised that the items that could be considered for proper watch and videography are like riots or riotous situations or commotions, brick batting, free-for-all etc., violent incidents, damaging of property, looting, arson, brandishing of arms etc., booth capturing, intimidation of voters, inducement/ bribing of voters by distribution of items like sarees, dhotis, blankets etc., canvassing within 100 metres of polling stations, vulgar display of expenditure like huge cutouts etc., movement and activities of candidates with doubtful/ criminal records, hypersensitive & sensitive polling stations and counting process.
“Further all the video and digital photography would be done with date & time recording so that real date & time could be verified. The video films, thus, prepared would be viewed by the Returning Officers/ District Electoral Officers/ Additional District Electoral Officers to identify whether any violation of the poll process/model code of conduct has taken place”, said he. They would take appropriate necessary action as per law and also bring it to the notice of the State Election Commission, Punjab.
He said that the video/ digital proceedings inside the polling station would be carried out inside the polling stations in Panchayati Raj Institutions elections on the same pattern as adopted in the Assembly elections. This coverage of poll proceedings would be done without compromising the secrecy of voting at polling booths. The Commission further directed that in case of any ambiguity/ clarification, the instructions issued by the Election Commission of India for Assembly elections would prevail in the Panchayati Raj Institutions elections also.