GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Law and Justice
STARRED QUESTION NO. 274
ANSWERED ON FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014
Voting in General Elections by Armed Forces Personnel
*274. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of LAW AND JUSTICE be pleased to state;
(a) whether the Election Commission of India has registered serving Armed Forces personnel at peace stations as ordinary voters of those constituencies, as directed by the Supreme Court;
(b) if so, the details thereof, constituency-wise;
(c) the number of serving Armed Forces personnel - who voted in the recently concluded General Elections, who opted for voting by postal ballot and proxy voting, and percentage of Armed Forces and Paramilitary personnel who could not vote, constituency-wise; and
(d) the steps Government proposes to take to enable Armed Forces personnel serving in forward areas also to exercise their right to vote?
MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE &
COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)
(a) to (d) A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
Statement referred to in replies to parts (a) to (d) of Rajya Sabha Starred Question No. 274 for 25 July, 2014
(a) and (b): Pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1005 of 2013 [Neela Gokhale Vs. Union of India and Anr.] and Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 6554 of 2014 [Rajeev Chandrasekhar Vs. Union of India and Ors.] dated 24th March 2014, the Election Commission issued necessary instructions to the Chief Electoral Officers of all the States and Union territories for compliance of the said directions. Recently, on conclusion of the General Elections to House of the People-2014, the Election Commission on 2nd June, 2014 has directed that a service personnel, who have been posted at a peace station on 01.01.2014 and continues to be posted there on the date of filing claim application in Form-6 of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 for inclusion of name in electoral roll as general elector, the Electoral Registration Officer/ Assistant Electoral Registration Officer of such assembly constituency under which such peace station falls, shall dispose of Form-6 following all due process and verification for ascertaining the facts for registration as general electors under continuous updating. The Commission has further directed that -
(i) For that purpose, a certificate to the effect that service personnel in question has been posted at the peace station on 01.01.2014 and continues to be posted there on the date of commencement of the election process, issued by the appropriate authority (record office/commandant) may be relied upon.
(ii) It should also be ensured that part-IV of Form-6 is duly filled up by the applicant.
(iii) A declaration regarding his/her non-enrolment as service elector in the last part of any constituency should also be obtained from such applicant with the Form-6, as a service personnel, who is already registered/who have applied for registration in the last part of electoral roll of any constituency is not eligible for enrolment as general elector in accordance with the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
(iv) A separate list of such service personnel who have been enrolled as general elector after recently held general elections 2014 under continuous updating of electoral roll may also be maintained by the Electoral Registration Officer concerned.
The details of the service personnel registered as general elector, pursuant to the said Order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, are being collected and will be laid on the Table of the House.
(c): The Election Commission has informed that the data of jawans and officers who vote is not available, however, the total number of voters who voted through postal ballot at the recent Lok Sabha elections is 931790 as per the provisional data available. This would include all categories of service voters, special voters, voters on preventive detention and person appointed on election duty. As per the instruction issued by the Election Commission, those armed forces personnel posted at peace stations have option of enrolling themselves as general voter in the constituency of the area concerned. In such cases they would have voted in the relevant polling stations.
(d): As per the provisions of clause (a) of section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (i) members of the armed forces of the Union, and (ii) members of a force to which the provisions of the Army Act, 1950, are made applicable, with or without modifications, can vote (a) either in person, or (b) by postal ballot, or (c) by proxy appointed under rule 27N of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. Thus there are adequate provisions to meet the requirement of the service personnel in enrolment as well as to facilitate them in voting.