section 49-O

I received this mail from my friend from school Meeta, about section 49-O : With the upcoming elections and the changing ministers this seemed an interesting find:

This is a very imp section in our constitution and all educated voters must know.

Section 49-O of the Constitution

Do you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section “49-O” that a person can go to the polling booth,
confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn’t want to vote anyone!

Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called “49-O”.

Why should you go and say “I VOTE NOBODY”… because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has
received “49-O” votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole political system… it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public….

It seemed too good to be true. Just 123 people not voting and we would have the whole election re-done sounds too good to be true. To counter check the above I went through the constitution of India…… rather scrolled through it. Part XV of the constitution does deal with the election and sections 324 to 326 deal with the appointment and the list of activities and powers of the election commission but does not mention the said section or act I even went through the amendments but unfortunately no mention of it has been made in that as well. I then went through the site of the election commission and did not find any mention there as well. When I surfed the net and I found some blogs talking about it some of them seem to have extensively researched it…… this was interesting. Go through what I found :

S. Dorairaj for The Hindu has to say. Notice – it’s dated April 04, 2006! Unless the Supreme Court of India (SCI) has given it a green signal in the last month, which I doubt, 49-O in it’s new avatar hasn’t been included in the Conduct of Electoral Rules yet. The decision on the same is pending before the SCI.

Petitioner = People’s Union For Civil Liberties, 2004(?). Here you can search for the status of the case. I tried, but the site is excruciatingly slow!! I even tried to search on PUCL’s homepage, but couldn’t find anything. Weird!

I have hyperlinked the last paragraph to a blog of Mr Vikas Kaul…… this was an interesting find for the person in question does seem to have done some extensive research on the same. Do find out about this and let me know if you do find anything substantive on this. It would really be very interesting to find out.

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3 Responses

  1. Even i read this 49-0 on a blog of another person. While spreading this message, my cousin told me that she came to know bout this through a Tamil News paper before their elections. When she went to the elecion officer and put her point not to vote.. almost every one shouted on her.. about 40 people gathered and made her vote… she eventually voted for an independent candidate who got 50 votes.

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  2. Seeta sent me the above info on the section 49-O – that it does not exist only another one in the handbook of the election commission manual. Maybe they actually were referring to the thing below and were mistaken O for Q

    CHAPTER XX

    ELECTORS DECIDING NOT TO VOTE

    1.1 If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the

    Register of Voters (Form 17A) and he has put his signature/thumb impression on that

    register, decides not to record his vote, he shall not be forced or compelled to record

    his vote.

    1.2 A remark to the effect that he has decided not to record his vote shall be made

    by you in the remarks column against the entry relating to him in the Register of Voters.

    You shall put your full signature below that remark.

    1.3 The signature or thumb impression of the elector shall also be obtained against

    such remark under rule 49Q.

    1.4 It shall, however, not be necessary to make any change in the serial number of

    the elector or of any succeeding electors in column (1) of the Register of Voters.

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  3. yesterday I received a comment for some reason it got deleted but I had opened the link so I still have it. It is to do with the lets vote nobody section 49 O. This is the link but I dont think that it is there now they might have removed it

    http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/cer1.htm

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