Making it clear that companies in the information technology sector will have to declare a paid holiday on the day of polling (April 24, 2014 in Tamil Nadu), Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar on Wednesday said he would discuss with State IT secretary (T.K. Ramachandran) the matter of ensuring IT companies fall in line with the Election Commission’s directive.
Responding to a reporter’s observation that some IT firms might not grant a holiday on the day of polling, the CEO said the office of the Labour Commissioner had already issued an instruction to all firms and establishments to declare a paid holiday.
Provisions of several laws such as the Representation of People Act, Negotiable Instruments Act and Factories Act could be invoked in this regard. Those who had not given a paid holiday could be booked under Section 135 –B of the RP Act, which stipulates the levy of a fine of Rs. 500.
Case against Anbumani
On the issue of a case filed last week against former Union Minister and Pattali Makkal Katchi youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss on charges of distributing compact discs (CD) allegedly containing video/audio clips that could promote hatred between two communities, Mr. Kumar said he sought a report from Dharmapuri District Collector.
The case against Commercial Taxes Minister M.C. Sampath in connection with an alleged distribution of cash had been dropped on the ground that the incident took place a few days before the model code of conduct came into force.
On the status of complaint given by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regarding another reported incident of cash distribution in Mookoodi village of Aranthangi taluk (falling under the Ramanathapuram parliamentary constituency) the CEO said a FIR had been filed.
A local official of Aranthangi said the case had been booked under 171 (b) and (e) of the Indian Penal Code against 10 persons including seven for having allegedly received bribe.
Mr. Kumar said that as of now, 778 cases had been filed with regard to violation of the model code of conduct. Cash of Rs. 14.59 crore had been seized and non-cash items, worth Rs. 6.76 crore.
He clarified that the restriction on public meetings and use of loudspeakers beyond 10 p.m. would not be applicable to door-to-door canvassing.