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 TAMIL NADU STATE ELECTION COMMISSION

INFORMATION UNDER SECTION 4(1) OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background, objective and purpose
 
            The Right to Information Act, 2005 (Central Act 22 of 2005) has been enacted to provide for setting out a practical regime of the right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the Control of Public Authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every Public Authority. This publication under section 4(a)(1) of the Right to Information Act sets out the obligations of public authorities concerned with Urban and Rural Local bodies elections.


1.2. Intended users

             Members of public, political parties, officers and staff concerned with Local body elections.

 

1.3. Information

             The information about  the organisation is given in chapter 2.

 

1.4. Contact person

             Public Information Officer: The Chief Administrative Officer, Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, is the contact person for relevant information. He / She will gather the information required by the petitioner which may be available in various sections in the Commission and furnish the same to the petitioner.

            PIO address:

            Tmt. V. Mythili,

            Public Information Officer / Chief Administrative Officer

            Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, 

            208/2, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,

Opp. CMBT, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 106.

 

1.5. Appellate authority

             The Legal Adviser of Tamil Nadu State Election Commission has been designated as the Appellate Authority as far as the Right to Information Act is concerned. 

            AA/LA address: 

            Thiru S. Shanmugam,

            Appellate Authority / Legal Adviser,

            Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, 

            208/2, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,

            Opp. CMBT, Arumbakkam, Chennai-600 106.

 

1.6. Procedure and Fee Structure for getting information

(G.O. Ms. No.989, Public (Estt.I & Leg.) Department, dated: 07-10-2005)

(a)  Every application for obtaining information under sub-section (1) of the section 6 of the Act shall be accompanied by an application fee of Rs.10/- by way of cash or by Postal Money Order or by affixing Court Fee Stamp or by Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque payable in the head of account “0075 00 – Miscellaneous General Services – 800. Other receipts – BK. Collection of fees under Tamil Nadu Right to Information (Fees) Rules, 2005” (DPC 0075 00 800 BK 0006). The applicant may also remit the fee under the above head of account in the Treasury / Pay & Accounts Office / State Bank of India / Reserve Bank of India and produce the chalan to the Public Information Officer as an evidence for having remitted the fee.

(b)  For providing the information under sub-section (1) of Section 7 of the Act, a fee shall be charged by way of cash against proper receipt or by Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque payable in the above head of account, at the following rates:-

       i) Rupees two for each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) created or copied;

      ii) Actual charge or cost price of a copy in larger size paper;

     iii) Actual cost or price for samples or models; and

     iv) For inspection of records, no fee for the first hour, and a fee of rupees five for each fifteen minutes
          (or fraction thereof) thereafter.

(c) For providing the information under sub-section (5) of Section 7, the fee shall be charged by way of cash against proper receipt or by Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque payable in the above head of account, at the following rates –

      i) for information provided in diskette or floppy Rs.50/- per diskette or floppy; and

     ii) for information provided in printed form, at the price fixed for publication.

Persons below the poverty line are exempted from the payment of fee mentioned in the above para for seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The list of persons below the poverty line as approved by the Gram Panchayat and Local Bodies will be the basis for claiming the concessions and the certified extract of the list will be sufficient to avail this concession.

 


2. PARTICULARS OF ORGANISATION, FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES

            2.1. The State Election Commission is an independent, autonomous, Constitutional body created under Article 243K of the Constitution of India and also a Statutory authority under Sec.239 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1994 and the relevant sections of various Acts of the Urban Local Bodies and headed by the State Election Commissioner.  As per Article 243-K read with 243-ZA of the Constitution of India, all elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies are to be held under the superintendence, direction and control of the State Election Commission. The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission came into inception on 15th July 1994.

 

2.2 Organisational Chart

 Name and Address :

                     Tamil Nadu State Election Commission,

                     208/2, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,

                     Opp. CMBT, Arumbakkam, Chennai-600 106.

2.3. Working hours

            The working hours of the Commission is from 10.00 hours to 17.45 hours with half an hour lunch break between 13.00 hours and 14.00 hours on all working days. (Note: Applications/petitions under the Right to Information Act/Rules will be accepted during office hours on the working days only).


2.4. Grievance Redressal Mechanism

The representations/genuine grievances relating to the subject of Local Body elections from the citizens of Tamil Nadu are being received in the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission and also in the offices of the State Election Officers, District Election Officers and Electoral Registration Officers during working hours on all working days.



3. POWERS AND DUTIES OF ELECTION RELATED OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

 3.1. State Election Officer (Rural)

             The Director of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj is the State Election Officer.  Under the superintendence, direction and control of the State Election Commission, the State Election Officer co-ordinates and supervises the preparation and publication of panchayat electoral rolls and also the conduct of election to the offices of the Rural Local Bodies, both direct and indirect elections.

 

3.2. State Election Officer (Urban)

             The Commissioner/Director of Town Panchayat in the case of Town Panchayats and the Commissioner/Director of Municipal Administration in the case of Municipalities are the State Election Officers. Under the Superintendence, directions and Control of State Election Commission they co-ordinate and supervise the preparation and publication of electoral rolls and also conduct of all elections to the Town Panchayats, and Municipalities as the case may be.


3.3. District Election Officer / District Collector

            The respective District Collector is the District Election Officer.  Under the superintendence, direction and control of the State Election Commission, the District Election Officer  co-ordinates and supervises the preparation of Local Body electoral rolls and also the conduct of elections to the Rural and Urban Local Bodies in his/her jurisdiction.  In respect of Chennai Corporation, the Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai is the District Election Officer.


3.4. Duties of District Election Officers/District Collectors

(1)     Approval of Polling Stations in their respective districts based on the proposals received from Returning Officers.

(2)     Approval of the list for the appointment of Presiding Officer and Polling Officers for each polling station;

(3)     Imparting intensive training to the polling personnel (including those on reserve duty)

(4)     Creating awareness about the use and working of Electronic Voting machine among the general public, political
          parties, candidates and media where EVM’s are to be used.

(5)     Arrangements for printing of postal ballot papers for voters on Election Duty and their despatch to the voters

(6)     Scrutiny of accounts of election expenses of contesting candidates and submission of returns to the Commission

(7)     Safe custody of all Ballot Boxes, Electronic voting machines, election papers and election materials after the
          completion of election and during the period specified for the purpose.

(8)     It is the statutory duty of the District Election Officer/Returning Officer to report the occurrence of Casual Vacancy in
         Urban & Rural Local Bodies within a week to the State Election Commission.


3.5. Panchayat Electoral Registration Officer (Rural)
             The Panchayat Union Commissioners/Block Development Officers (Block Panchayat) have been designated as the Panchayat Electoral Registration Officer under sub-section (2) of section 30 of the said Act for the purpose of preparing and publishing Panchayat Electoral Rolls in respect of the wards of the Panchayats in the respective jurisdiction.


3.6. Electoral Registration Officer (Urban)

            The respective Executive Officer of Town Panchayats and Commissioner of Municipalities/Corporations and the Revenue Officer of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation shall be the Electoral Registration Officer for the purpose of preparing and publishing the Electoral Rolls of the Town Panchayats or the Municipalities or the City Municipal Corporations as the case may be in respect of the wards of jurisdiction.


3.7. Returning Officers

            For every Local body, for every election,  to fill a seat, the State Election Commission/District Election Officer shall, designate or nominate a Returning Officer who shall be an officer of Government or of a local authority.

            The Returning Officer is primarily responsible for the conduct of elections from his local body. His functions (as well as those of the District Election Officer) are:

  • Drawing up the programme and detailed arrangements for the poll;

  • Procurement of election materials;

  • Selection and setting up of polling stations with the prior approval of District Election Officer;

  • Appointment and training of polling personnel (including reserve);

  • Receipt of nomination papers, security deposit, intimation from parties about candidates;

  • Handing over a copy of instructions for lodging account of Election Expenses and Register, etc.

  • Scrutiny of nomination papers;

  • Allotment of symbols;

  • Publication of notice of nominations, list of validly nominated candidates and contesting candidates;

  • Printing of postal ballot papers and despatch to voters on Election Duty;

  • Meetings / contact with candidates, political parties to ensure free, fair and smooth elections and enforcement of model code of conduct;

  • Ensuring the presence of polling parties for the conduct of poll and supply of ballot papers and other election materials;

  • Supervision of poll and sending reports to District Election Officer/State Election Commission;

  • Transport and storage of ballot boxes after poll under security arrangements

  • Fixing place for counting of votes.

  • Declaration of result

  • Safe custody of election papers and materials after counting

  • Scrutiny of accounts of election expenses of contesting candidates and submission of their returns to the Commission

  • Overall supervision of election work

3.8. Assistant Returning Officer

The State Election Commission may require the District Election Officers to appoint one or more Assistant Returning Officers to assist any Returning Officer in the performance of his functions. Every Assistant Returning Officer shall, subject to the control of the Returning Officer, be competent to perform all or any of the functions of the Returning Officer. However the Assistant Returning Officer cannot perform any of the functions of the Returning Officer relating to scrutiny of nominations unless the Returning Officer is unavoidably prevented from performing the said function.

 

3.9. Presiding and Polling Officers

The District Election Officer shall appoint a Presiding officer for each polling station and such polling officer or officers as he thinks necessary but he shall not appoint any person who has been employed by or on behalf of, or has been otherwise working for, a candidate in or about the election. A polling officer shall, if so directed by the presiding officer, perform all or any of the functions of a presiding officer. If the Presiding officer, owing to illness or other unavoidable cause, is obliged to absent himself from the polling station, his functions shall be performed by such polling officer as has been previously authorised by the District Election Officer to perform such functions during any such absence.

The general duty of the presiding officer at a polling station is to maintain order and to ensure that the poll is fairly taken. He enjoys full legal power to control the proceedings in the polling station under his charge. The duty of the Polling Officers at a polling station is to assist the Presiding Officer in the performance of his functions.

 

 4. ELECTORAL ROLLS

4.1. The Electoral Rolls of the Local Bodies shall be the same as the current Electoral Rolls of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly constituency pertaining to the Local Body area. The Electoral Roll for the Legislative Assembly Constituency is prepared and revised in accordance with the provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1950 and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960.  By adopting the entries in the Legislative Assembly Electoral Rolls pertaining to the area covered by each and every local body,  the Electoral Registration officer of the Local Body concerned prepares the Local Body Electoral Rolls and publish the same in accordance with the  Rules.

 

4.2. Qualification for an Elector (Rural Local Bodies)

The electoral roll of a panchayat shall be the same as the current electoral roll of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly pertaining to the area covered by the panchayat, as prepared and revised in accordance with the provisions of the Representation of people Act 1950 and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 (vide Sections 14, 23 and 30 of the said Act).  This means that a person whose name finds a place within a panchayat area in the electoral roll of the concerned Legislative Assembly Constituency is automatically included in the Panchayat electoral roll and consequently gets qualified to vote in the elections to that Panchayat. 

 

4.3. Qualification for an Elector (Urban Local Bodies)

            The electoral roll of an urban local body shall be the same as the current electoral roll of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly pertaining to the area covered by the urban local body, as prepared and revised in accordance with the provisions of the Representation of People Act 1950 and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960.  This means that a person whose name finds a place within an urban local body area in the electoral roll of the Legislative Assembly Constituency is automatically included in the electoral roll of the urban local body and consequently gets qualified to vote in the elections to the said urban local body. 


5. ELECTIONS – THE ESSENTIALS

            5.1. In simple terms, election is the process by which a person is chosen for a public office by the constituent body of electors.  Elections can be Direct or Indirect.  In a Direct election, the entire body of electors of the constituency has the right to vote whereas, in an Indirect election, the voting right is restricted to certain elected representatives of the electors.  Elections are the very essence of democracy and fair and free elections are a primary requirement for its success.

 

The election process has the following ingredients: 

  1. the specification of the office;

  2. a definition of the qualification of candidates for the office;

  3. a clearly defined constituency, i.e., the body of electors; thus, a clear delimitation of constituencies and the maintenance of public register or list of electors is required; this implies that qualification for being included as an elector should be spelt out;

  4. an election authority entrusted with the duty of conducting elections in case where there is a contest;

  5. Publication of notification of the calendar of elections by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission;

  6. Issue of election notice by the Returning Officer;

  7. Filing of nomination;

  8. Scrutiny of nominations;

  9. Withdrawal of candidature;

  10. Final list of contesting candidates and allotment of symbols;

  11. Poll;

  12. Counting of votes;

  13. Declaration of Results;

  14. Assumption of office by the elected Presidents and members (Direct Elections);

  15. Election of Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons; and Vice-Presidents (Indirect Elections).


6. THE OFFICES FOR WHICH ELECTIONS ARE HELD

6.1 Rural Local Bodies

Direct Elections

Members of Village Panchayat Wards

Presidents of Village Panchayats

Members of Panchayat Union Wards

Members of District Panchayat Wards

Indirect Elections

Vice-President of Village Panchayats

Chairpersons of Panchayat Union Councils

Vice- Chairpersons of Panchayat Union Councils

Chairpersons of District Panchayats

Vice- Chairpersons of District Panchayats

 
6.2 Urban Local Bodies

Direct Elections

Chairman / Ward Members of Town Panchayats

Chairman / Councillors of Municipalities

Mayor / Councillors of Municipal Corporations

Indirect Elections

Vice-Chairman of Town Panchayat

Vice- Chairman of Municipality

Deputy Mayor of Municipal Corporation

Chairman of the wards Committee in Municipal Corporations

Members of the various Statutory Committees and Members/Chairman of Standing  

Committees of the respective Urban Local Bodies.

 

7. DEPOSITS TO BE MADE BY THE CANDIDATES

Other than SC/ST candidates

Election

Deposit Amount Rs.

Corporation Councillor / Mayor

2,000 / 4,000

Municipal Councillor / Chairman

1,000 / 2,000

Town Panchayat Ward Member / Chairman

500 / 1,000

District Panchayat Ward Member

1,000

Panchayat Union Ward Member

600

Village Panchayat President

600

Village Panchayat Ward Member

200

 
SC/ST candidates

Election

Deposit Amount Rs.

Corporation Councillor / Mayor

1,000 / 2,000

Municipal Councillor / Chairman

500 / 1,000

Town Panchayat Ward Member / Chairman

250 / 500

District Panchayat Ward Member

500

Panchayat Union Ward Member

300

Village Panchayat President

300

Village Panchayat Ward Member

100

 


8. ELECTION EXPENSES

8.1. Rural

Any person who contests in any direct election for being elected to any of the offices in panchayats, whether held on party basis or other-wise, can incur expense towards the various items of his election, subject to the ceiling as prescribed in the rules.  The  provisions in sub-rule (1) of rule 121 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Elections) Rules, 1995 prescribe the ceiling of election expenditure amount for each election as follows:

for election as ward member of a District Panchayat

Rs. 1,70,000/-

for election as ward member of a Panchayat Union

Rs. 85,000/-

for election as President of a Village Panchayat

Rs. 34,000/-

for election as ward member of a Village Panchayat

Rs.  9,000/-

             As per sub-rule (2) of rule 121 of said Rules,  any candidate, either by himself, or by his election agent, who has exceeded the amount mentioned above, shall be deemed to have indulged in a corrupt practice under the relevant section of the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994.

Further, the accounts of election expenses should be maintained in the format prescribed by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission and lodged with the officers concerned within thirty days from the date of declaration of the results.


            8.2. The Officers with whom the accounts on election expenses shall be lodged are as follows:

 

Name of the Elections

Officers with whom the account of election

expenses has to be lodged

Member of District Panchayat Ward

Secretary of the District Panchayat

Member of Panchayat Union Ward

Panchayat Union Commissioner concerned

President of the Village Panchayat

Panchayat Union Commissioner concerned

 
8.3. Urban

            A candidate who stands for election to urban local body is permitted to incur maximum expenses for ward Councillor as noted below:

Name of the Elections

Expenditure Rs.

for Election as Member of a Town Panchayat / Third Grade Municipality  / Chairman

17,000 / 85,000

for Election as Councillor of a Municipality (Second and First Grade) / Chairman

34,000 / 1,70,000

for Election as Councillor of a Municipality (Selection and Special Grade) / Chairman

85,000 / 3,50,000

for Election as Councillor of a Corporation (Other than Corporation of Chennai) / Mayor

85,000 / 8,50,000

for Election as Councillor of Corporation of Chennai / Mayor

90,000 / 17,00,000

 

Any candidate either by himself or by his election agent, who has exceeded the amount mentioned above or who has not kept a separate and correct account of all expenditure in connection with the elections as specified in rules or who fails to lodge an account of election expenses with the authority concerned within the period specified in the rules  shall be deemed to have indulged in a corrupt practice under the relevant section of the Act.

Further, the accounts of election expenses should be maintained in the format prescribed by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission and lodged with the officers concerned within thirty days from the date of declaration of the results.

The Officers with whom the accounts on election expenses shall be lodged are as follows:

 

Name of the Elections

Officers with whom the account of election expenses has to be lodged

Mayor / Councillor of Corporation

Commissioner of the concerned Corporation

Chairman / Councillor of Municipality

Commissioner of the concerned Municipality

Chairman / Ward Member of a Town Panchayat

Executive Officer of the concerned Town Panchayat

  


9. DISTRICT PLANNING COMMITTEE

9.1. District Planning Committee:

            74th amendment to the Constitution of India have provided for the Constitution of District Planning Committee to every district, to have integrated planning body comprising both Rural and Urban Local Bodies.  The Tamil Nadu Local Bodies (Election of Members to the District Planning Committee) Rules, 1999 entrust the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission for the preparation of voters list and conduct of election to the District Planning Committee.

 

10. ADJUDICATION OF ELECTION DISPUTES

10.1 Election Petitions:

             Any Election held under the Rural/Urban Local Body Act shall not be called for in question except by an election petition prescribed in the Act or the rules, to the District Judge under whose jurisdiction the Panchayat/Urban or the District Planning Committee or other Statutory Committees fall, by any candidate or elector against the candidate who has been declared to have been duly elected.

 

10.2 Time limit for presenting election petitions:

            An election petition shall be presented within forty five days from the date of publication of the result of the election.

 

 

Tamil Nadu State Election Commission

Contact Numbers

 EPABX No.: 044-23635010  044-23635011  

FAX:            044-23638282 044-23638283

 E-Mail: tnsec.tn@nic.in

 

Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner

Direct 044 - 2363 5020

Secretary

Direct 044 – 2363 5050

044 – 23635010 – Ext 2005

Principal Election Officer (Panchayats)

Direct 044 – 2363 5014

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3000

Principal Election Officer (Municipalities)

Direct 044 – 2363 5015

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3004

Legal Adviser (Appellate Authority)

Direct 044 – 2363 5013

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 2008

Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer

Direct 044 – 2363 5012

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3001

Chief Administrative Officer
(Public Information Officer)

Direct 044 – 2363 5016

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3006

Public Relations Officer

Direct 044 – 2363 5017

044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3002

Computer Programmer

Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 2009

Superintendent (Administration)

Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 4001

Superintendent (Panchayat Elections)

Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 4003

Superintendent (Municipal Elections)

Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3008

Superintendent (Legal)

    Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3003

Superintendent (Accounts)     Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 3014

Computer Room

    Direct 044 – 2363 5010 – Ext 2009

 

 

District Election Officers Phone Numbers/Fax Numbers
 

Sl.No

District

Designation of District Election Officer

STD

Code

Office Phone Number

Fax Number

1.

Ariyalur

District Collector

04329

228336

228335

2.

Coimbatore

District Collector

0422

2301320

2301523

3.

Cuddalore

District Collector

04142

230999

230555

4.

Dharmapuri

District Collector

04342

230500

230886

5.

Dindigul

District Collector

0451

2461199

2432133

6.

Erode

District Collector

0424

2266700

2261444

7.

Kancheepuram

District Collector

044

27237433

27237789

8.

Kanniyakumari

District Collector

04652

279555

260999

9.

Karur

District Collector

04324

257555

257800

10.

Krishnagiri

District Collector

04343

239500

239300

11.

Madurai

District Collector

0452

2531110

2530925

12.

Nagapattinam

District Collector

04365

252700

253048

13.

Namakkal

District Collector

04286

281101

281106

14.

Perambalur

District Collector

04328

225700

224200

15.

Pudukkottai

District Collector

04322

221663

227100

16.

Ramanathapuram

District Collector

04567

231220

230558

17.

Salem

District Collector

0427

2452244

2400700

18.

Sivaganga

District Collector

04575

241466

241525

19.

Thanjavur

District Collector

04362

230102

230857

20.

The Nilgiris

District Collector

0423

2442344

2443971

21.

Theni

District Collector

04546

253676

251466

22.

Tiruchirappalli

District Collector

0431

2415358

2411929

23.

Tirunelveli

District Collector

0462

2501222

2500224

24.

Thiruvallur

District Collector

044

27661600

27661200

25.

Tiruvannamalai

District Collector

04175

233333

232222

26.

Thiruvarur

District Collector

04366

223344

221033

27.

Thoothukudi

District Collector

0461

2340600

2340606

28.

Tiruppur

District Collector

0421

2971100

2488822

29.

Vellore

District Collector

0416

2252345

2253034

30.

Villupuram

District Collector

04146

222470

222470

31.

Virudhunagar

District Collector

04562

252525

252500

32.

Chennai

Corporation Commissioner

044

25228025

25228025

 

State Election Officers

Director of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj

044

24323794

24343205

Director / Commissioner of Municipal Administration

044

28513259

28518079

Director of Town Panchayats

044

25340352

25358742


*****

 

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Tamil Nadu State Election Commission
Chennai
Email: tnsec[at]tn[dot]nic[dot]in

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