Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Citizens expose malpractice by Goa election officers

Citizen's forum claims to have exposed malpractices by Goa election officers. The election officers were found to adopt procedures different from guidelines issued by Election Commission Of India. PCF had pointed to such malpractices in the past too, like enrolling foreigners in the election rolls, reports Daily News And Analysis.

Goa-based Citizens' Forum today claimed to have exposed malpractices by the state election officers while revising the electoral rolls.

Data collected by Pilerne Citizens Forum (PCF) under Right to Information (RTI) shows that election officers in Goa adopt procedures which are different from the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India (ECI).

"All the eleven talukas are following guidelines different from ECI to enroll new names or shift the name from one constituency to another," PCF chairman Prakash Bandodkar told reporters here.

PCF's allegations are based on the data collected from various offices after one-year-long procedure of getting information under RTI.

Bandodkar said ten out of eleven mamlatdars responded to their queries and all were found following procedures which were diverse from the ECI guidelines.

Also, each mamlatdar differed with other in the procedure complicating the matter further, he said.

Moreover, joint election commissioner's office in Panaji does not even have the copy of prescribed guidelines required to be followed vis-a-vis change or addition in the electoral rolls.

"The information sought by the applicant is not held by this office," a reply by joint election commissioner's office reads.

PCF's legal advisor Yatish Naik said that they have filed a formal complaint with ECI by attaching all the documents procured under RTI seeking their intervention in the matter.

PCF, in past, had raised the issue of foreigners being enrolled in the electoral rolls. They had also pointed out that the foreigners were illegally getting entry into ration cards of locals by bribing district administration officers.

A foreign couple in their 70s was shown as a son and daughter of Goan couple in their mid

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