Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju has directed all 22 Deputy Commissioners – cum – District Election Officers (DEOs) to take necessary actions as per the instructions of Election Commission of India (ECI) in the matter of publicity of criminal antecedents by the contesting candidates as well as by the political parties nominating such candidates, .
Dr. Raju said that ECI had issued “guidelines on publicity of criminal antecedent by political parties and candidates” and DEOs were directed to circulate that to all the political parties based in the district for strict compliance both by the parties and their candidates in all future elections. The political parties at the district level include district units of the recognized national/state political parties and recognized district political parties of the states and all the registered unrecognised political parties with headquarters based in the district to take note of ECI’s directions.
He further said that It is emphasized here in this regard that the candidate/political party failing to publish the declaration in the newspaper shall be issued notice by the CEO in a prescribed format.
As per the ECI’s guidelines, the information is to be published in one local vernacular newspaper and one national newspaper. In addition, the official social media platforms of the political party including Facebook & Twitter shall also carry the information.
The Guidelines underlines the meaning of ‘National’ and ‘Local Vernacular’ newspapers in the context of Supreme Court’s orders dated 13th February, 2020. As per the order, national newspaper is defined as any daily newspaper having at least one edition with circulation beyond 75,000 as stated by the DAVP/Audit Bureau of Circulation in publicly available records and editions in more than one state, as reflected in the publicly available records of DAVP/Audit Bureau of Circulation.
On the other hand local vernacular newspaper is defined as any daily newspaper with at least one edition published within geographical territory of the State/UT, in the local vernacular language, with a circulation of at least 25,000 as stated by the DAVP/Audit Bureau of Circulation in publicly available records.