ECI issues directions to Chief Secretary & CEO Karnataka in case of collection of voter data by a private entity in BBMP area

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

On 17-11-2022 the Election Commission of India received media reports regarding an NGO collecting the voter data in Bengaluru city under the garb of voter awareness activities by way of house to house survey in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area. The commission also received complaints from political parties regarding the same matter.  A police investigation in the matter is going on in pursuance of two FIRs dated 17.11.22, one in Kadugodi police station vide no. 0217/2022 and another in Halasuru gate police station vide no. 0276/2022 and subsequent actions including arrests have been made by the Police. An administrative enquiry by Regional Commissioner Bengaluru, Mr. Amlan Biswas has also been ordered.  As per the report received, wrong ID cards identifying private individuals as BLOs/BLCs have been found in the three Constituencies namely 162 Shivajinagar, 169 Chickpet & 174 Mahadevapura. Three Electoral Registration Officers of BBMP of these three Constituencies have also been placed under suspension.

Based on the reports, other material available and inputs, the Commission has directed the following for immediate compliance:

  1. There shall be a 100% check of the deletions and additions effected in the electoral rolls after 01.01.2022 in the three Constituencies of 162 Shivajinagar, 169 Chickpet & 174 Mahadevapura.
  2. The period of claims & objections under SSR is extended form 9.12.22 up to 24th December, 2022 i.e. by 15 days to enable intense verification and affording further opportunity to file claims and objections, if any in the three constituencies of 162 Shivajinagar, 169 Chickpet & 174 Mahadevapura.
  3. List of all deletions and additions, which have been done in the electoral rolls after 1.1.2022 in the three Constituencies of 162 Shivajinagar, 169 Chickpet & 174 Mahadevapura, will be shared with the recognised political parties so as to enable them to file claims and objections.
  4. The criminal investigation in pursuance of FIRs (0217/2022 & 0276/2022 both dated 17.11.22) is already in progress. All concerned officials shall ensure that no direct or indirect use of documents or data illegally collected takes place.
  5. Shri S. Rangappa, Additional District Election Officer (ADEO), BBMP, (Central) in charge of   162 Shivajinagar and 169 Chickpet constituencies and Shri K. Srinivas, Additional District Election Officer cum-Deputy Commissioner Bengaluru Urban, in charge of 174 Mahadevapura constituency are directed to be immediately placed under suspension and a departmental enquiry be instituted against them.
  6. The following Officers, from outside the BBMP, are to be appointed as Special Officers for three Constituencies, for overseeing and ensuring purity of Electoral rolls as per extant guidelines and directions of the Commission –
  •          a.       Ms. Priyanka Mary Francis, IAS – For 162, Shivajinagar AC

b.       Dr. R. Vishal, IAS – For 169, Chickpet AC

c.       Mr.  Ajay Nagbhushan, IAS – For 174, Mahadevapura

  1.  The Roll Observers of BBMP area namely

a.       Mr. Ujjwal Ghosh (BBMP Central),

b.       Mr. Ramachandran R.  (BBMP North),

c.       Mr.  P. Rajendra Cholan (BBMP South)

d.       Dr.  N. Manjula (Bengaluru Urban)

are directed to oversee the SSR work being undertaken in their assigned constituencies in the Assembly Constituencies in BBMP area other than the three Constituencies of 162 Shivajinagar, 169 Chickpet & 174 Mahadevapura.

  1. The Regional Commissioner Bengaluru, Mr. Amlan Biswas shall coordinate and supervise review of the SSR work in the BBMP area. He is further empowered to depute any officer for assisting him in the said task with the approval of CEO, Karnataka.
  2. The Regional commissioner Bengaluru, Mr. Amlan Biswas shall also expedite the administrative enquiry assigned to him regarding the complaint of misuse of voter registration awareness activities and alleged data capture by the private entity in BBMP area.  
  3. CEO Karnataka is directed to involve the recognised political party at each step of the SSR activities and provide them with the AC wise lists of all details that have been placed since the last final publication of the Electoral Roll as per the extant guidelines.
  4. CEO Karnataka is also directed to personally supervise and coordinate the above measures being put in place.

The electoral rolls are prepared and revised, subject to the overall superintendence, direction and control of Election Commission of India under Article 324 of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of Representation of People Act, 1950 and Registration of Electors Rules, 1960. The Election Commission of India has always been committed to conduct free, fair and inclusive elections, for which an error free and updated electoral roll is prerequisite. The electoral roll is updated through summary and continuous revision in a completely transparent and rule-based manner in which all stakeholders including political parties are kept informed of the status and process of revision. At every step of roll revision including addition, deletion and change in address etc. there is a provision of mandatory disclosure and claims & objections. The Election Commission considers it of paramount importance that all roll revision related booth level activities are to be only done by Booth Level Officers who are drawn in accordance with Commission’s instructions from time to time (last updated by instruction no. 23/BLO/2022-ERS, dated 04-10-2022). The Commission has a zero-tolerance policy on deviation from this vital provision related to Electoral Roll revision process.



Source PIB