Indian General Elections

ECI Appoints Special Expenditure Observers For States Of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh And Nagaland

Written By Daamini Sharma | Mumbai | Published:

Election Commission of India has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Sh. Gopal Mukherjee and Sh. D.D. Goel as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.

While Sh. Gopal Mukherjee ex-IRS (1980), former Member of CBDT has been deployed in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Sh.D.D.Goel ex-IRS (1982), former DGIT(Inv.) been deployed in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. 

Both these officers have extensive knowledge of search and seizure operations conducted by the I.T Department.

The Special Observers will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities  trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc. in order to vitiate the poll process.

Further, the Commission has decided to give additional charge of Gujarat and Karnataka to Sh. Shailendra Handa and Ms. Madhu Mahajan, respectively. It may be recalled that Commission had appointed these officers as Special Expenditure Observers on 19th March 2019. Sh Handa would thus be Special Expenditure Observer for Maharashtra and Gujarat while Ms Mahajan will be deployed in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Read: 'Election Commission Willing To Prohibit Political Ads On Social Media For 48 Hrs Before Polling If High Court Issues Orders'

Earlier, the Election Commission (EC) had told the Bombay High Court that it is willing to prohibit any political advertisements on social media 48 hours before polling day, provided the high court issues such orders.

The EC also told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar that it was going to ensure implementation of all its previous notifications regulating political advertisements on social media, particularly around the time of elections.

The statement was made by the EC's counsel Pradeep Rajagopal.

He was responding to a query posed by the court on a previous hearing, asking why the EC was hesitant to issue specific directions prohibiting political advertisements on social media 48 hours before an election day.