ECI Directs State Governments to Enforce Strict Officer Transfer Policy

The ECI directed the state governments to "implement transfer policy in both letter and spirit" via a communique dated February 24, 2024.
ECI Directs State Governments to Enforce Strict Officer Transfer Policy
ECI Directs State Governments to Enforce Strict Officer Transfer Policy

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday sternly directed state governments to ensure transferred officers, who have completed their terms of three years, are not posted in another district within the same parliamentary constituency.

The ECI directed the state governments to "implement transfer policy in both letter and spirit" via a communique dated February 24, 2024.

It stated that to ensure the officials do not disturb the level playing field in the elections, the election commission strengthened its existing transfer policy having taken note of cases where officers are transferred to adjacent districts within the same parliamentary constituency by the state governments.

The commission mentioned that there were loopholes in the existing instructions for states and Union Territories comprising of up to two parliamentary constituencies. Plugging the loopholes, ECI directed all states to ensure officers are not posted within the same parliamentary constituency upon transfer.

The press note read, "It has been reiterated that the transfer policy of the Commission must be adhered to in both letter and spirit and not just being camouflaged to show compliance. This rule applies retrospectively to transfers and postings that have already been implemented in accordance with the Commission's prior instructions."

"As per ECI Policy, all the officers who were either posted in their home district or have completed three years at a place have been directed to be transferred. This includes officers who are in any way connected to the election work either directly or in supervisory capacity," it added.

Meanwhile, the ECI reiterated its policy for zero tolerance against such practices stating, "There has been a Zero Tolerance policy of the Commission against disturbing the level playing field in the elections. It may be recalled that in the recently held 5 state assembly elections, the Commission ordered transfer of various officials, even senior level police officials in the state(s)."

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