District-specific complaints can be viewed by magistrates

To bring about transparency in the process of election-complaint monitoring during the West Bengal Assembly elections, the State Election Commission has decided to launch an online complaint-lodging system along with the already existing manual complaint-registering process over landline phones. Other than enabling complainants to register their complaints fast, the new system will allow both the commission and the complainants to keep track of the action taken by the authorities on the basis of the complaint made.

Docket number

“Those who register their complaints through short messaging service or online will be given a docket number and kept informed about the action taken through SMS. Complaints received over landline telephones will also be updated online,” Nikhil Kumar Sahana, the State's Additional Chief Election Commissioner, said here on Wednesday.

New software is being used by the State Election Commission this time and this will decentralise the complaint monitoring system.

Mr. Sahana said that once updated online, district-specific complaints could be viewed by district magistrates who can, in turn, take action on their basis.

“Every step of action taken will also be put up online so that the commission can monitor the progress of addressing the complaint,” he added. The State Election Commission had started an SMS-based complaint registering system during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and a mascot named ‘Ananda Babu' was created to publicise the effort.

A faster process

Pointing out that using landline telephones for registering complaints had its limitations regarding the number of calls that could be attended to, Mr. Sahana said using SMS and Internet made the process easier and faster.

  • Both the Commission and the complainant can keep track of the action taken
  • Election Commission is using new software that will decentralise monitoring