EC bans campaign near TN schools designated as exam centres

Acting on the directions of the Madras High Court, the EC has said that use of loudspeaker should be strictly monitored.

"There shall be a total ban on election campaign in any manner within 200 meters of any school which has been designated as an examination centre. Use of loudspeakers would also be banned within 200 meters of such schools," the EC said in a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state.

The High Court has directed that no teacher of the school, where examinations are held shall be deployed or called for training before the completion of the examinations except on March 27 and April 3 (both Sundays).

No school buses and other vehicles owned by educational institutions shall be requisitioned or seized before April 11 for the purpose of election, the court said.

"There shall be no campaigning or election canvassing by any political party, its followers or sympathisers within 200 meters of any school which has been designated as examination centre," the court had said.

Noting that the court directions should be strictly followed, the EC asked the CEO to inform every political party and candidate in the State of the direction in writing.

The Commission has directed that use of loudspeaker should be strictly monitored and should not be permitted in contravention of existing laws and regulation including the Motor Vehicles Act.

The District Election Officers shall identify sufficient number of public places within their districts and towns such as public grounds and open spaces which can be used for public meetings where loudspeakers can be allowed to be used in a fixed mode, the EC said.
However, these public grounds must be more than 200 meters away from schools designated as examination centres as well as away from hospitals.

The access to such public places shall be provided equitably between all political parties on a "first-come- first-serve" basis and DEOs shall ensure that sufficient numbers of such places are made available for use by the political parties and candidates, the EC said.

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