NEW DELHI (SAR NEWS) – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, a premier representative body of the Catholic Christians in India based in Delhi, April 6 released a set of Ten Commandments for the Indian voters in view of the parliamentary elections beginning April 16. Here goes the decree.
1. You shall ensure that your name is on the electoral roll (ER) and that you have an updated elector’s photo identity card (EPIC)
2. You shall help the poor, marginalised, underprivileged people to have their names on the ER by sending a filled-in Form No. 6 to the chief electoral officer of your state immediately.
3. You shall scrutinise election manifestos of various political parties to ascertain their stand in favour of vulnerable groups likes tribals, dalits, children, women and minorities before you decide to support a candidate.
4. You shall vote neither for parties/candidates that are communal, casteist, criminal, corrupt and fascist, nor for those that have not kept their previous electoral promises.
5. You shall not accept any bribe/reward to vote for any party/candidate. Taking bribe is as much an offence as giving bribe, under Section 171B of IPC.
6. You shall cast your vote early and also get others to do so on voting day. Remember that any other valid government photo ID can be a useful substitute for your EPIC provided your name is on the ER.
7. You shall insist on Tendered Vote under Rule 49-P of the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 “after convincing the presiding officer of the genuineness of your identity” even If someone else has already voted in your name.
8. You shall exercise your “electoral right” by declining to cast your vote (under the provision of Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961) if you are not satisfied with any of the candidates. After having signed on the Register of Voters and after having received the voters’ slip from the second polling officer, you must inform immediately the presiding officer at the polling station of your decision.
9. You shall report immediately, in writing, cases of bribery (for votes) booth-capturing, bogus voting (which is an offence of impersonation under Section 171D of IPC), etc. to the chief electoral officer of your state by fax / email (Find your CEO’s email ID at http://eci.nic.in/Directories&photogallery/e-mailaddress-ceos.asp) and also lodge a complaint at the nearest police station.
10. You shall bring serious concerns like the disenfranchisement of a whole community/village to the notice of: The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001.Tel: (011) 23717391; Fax:23713412