Hyderabad, July 4 (INN): State Election Commission Secretary Naveen Mittal on Thursday issued strict instructions to the Collectors and District Election Authorities in the State on auctioning of posts of some Sarpanchas and Ward Members, as reported in Print and Electronic Media.
Mittal said that auctioning of posts is a corrupt practice under Section 211(1) of the A.P. Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and this is also an electoral malpractice under Section 171-B and 171-E of Indian Penal Code, 1860. On conviction the offender is liable to one year imprisonment and disqualification to contest elections for a period of six years.
He requested the Collectors and District Election Authorities to take the measures to foil the nefarious designs of some vested interests to manipulate the election process by way of auctioning. He asked them to open a Special Cell to scan the reports published in the Print Media and telecasted in Electronic media about alleged incidents of auctioning of posts and to cause for conduct of an enquiry forthwith.
Mittal said prompt action should be taken to file FIR and launch prosecution against the persons involved in auctioning of posts under the sections referred above. He also asked them to send a report to the State Election Commission wherever there is a prima facie case of auctioning of posts to enable the State Election Commission to stop the election process in the Gram Panchayat concerned.
“By way of abundant caution, wherever there are allegations of auctioning of Posts, the Collectors and District Election Authorities shall give instructions to the Returning Officers concerned not to declare the result in case of unanimous election to any office in the Gram Panchayat concerned without obtaining clearance from the Collector and District Election Authority,” Mittal said.