Ahead of polls, ECI directs govt to effect transfers

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed the government to undertake a major surgery of the bureaucracy and the police to ensure fair and transparent conduct of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Officers posted in their home district or those who have completed three years in a district in the last four years or due for completion of three years on or before May 2018 have to be transferred, ECI principal secretary Narendra N Butolia has directed chief secretary K Ratna Prabha. The directive has been addressed to chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar as well.

Besides officers routinely appointed for election duty, the ECI has stated that the transfers will be applicable to assistant district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates, deputy/joint collections, tahsildars and block development officers. Police officers - from the level of sub-inspector to that of range inspector-general - who are responsible for security arrangement or deployment of personnel in a district in election time are also to be transferred.

The government should take care that no officer is posted back to one's home district or allowed to continue in an Assembly constituency where he or she was posted during an earlier election.

"The district election officer or district officer concerned shall ensure that officials who are transferred immediately hand over their charge without waiting for a substitute," the ECI has stated.

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