With the Election Commission coming under attack from parties for allegedly permitting door-to-door canvassing during night, the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar on Saturday clarified that campaigning after 10 pm was prohibited and all the EC laws continued to apply.
“You have put (in media) Election Commission has permitted to do campaign during night hours. What I say is that still Election law prohibits campaigning through loudspeaker, procession, beyond 10 pm,” Praveen Kumar told reporters here.
“If a candidate undertakes campaigning house-to-house, under general law you can be booked under criminal intimidation. He can be booked under IPC 451,” he said.
“Commission has not permitted anyone to do house-to-house campaign. But if the person prefers and files a case against a candidate, it becomes a cognisable offence, and that person (candidate) can be arrested also,” he said.
“Commission has not permitted anything new. If you go and intimidate someone forcefully in a house, that is an offence under criminal law,” he said.
Asked about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s deploring the EC’s methodology of calculating expenses of election rallies, he said “that is the position of old rule”, without elaborating.
Addressing an election meeting at Salem on Thursday, Ms Jayalalithaa had lashed out at the EC and declared that her party would move court challenging the norms.