Karnataka 2018

‘CEO Sir, can we hold our son’s marriage?’

Why would a family conducting a marriage or a naming ceremony need the permission of the Election Commission?

This election season, owing to lack of clarity on what the model code of conduct entails, several people have approached the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) seeking permission to conduct marriages, buy gold or return gifts for family functions. While many have approached the CEO’s office here, the district electoral officers are also receiving similar requests from those planning to host functions, including marriages, naming ceremonies, death ceremonies and birthday parties. “Some people have sent mails to the CEO’s office seeking clarity or permission from election officials. We have routed these requests to the district electoral officer also,” sources said.

Among the queries that citizens posed were whether to they can buy gold, gifts, or carry cash for such purchases, as most of theses articles could be used as freebies to induce voters. “I have my brother’s death ceremony just before the elections in May. I am not sure if we can invite people and host a lunch. So I am approaching the returning officer in the constituency and giving him a letter in this regard,” said a government official, who requested anonymity. Sources said that confusion among people is also partly due to the police or election officials preventing hosting public lunches since they involved politicians or political parties.

However, on Tuesday, CEO Sanjiv Kumar clarified that there was no need to seek permission to organise social functions that are private, including marriage or birthday parties. “Squads looking for model code of conduct violations, however, will keep an eye on public functions.”

Mr. Sanjiv Kumar also said that those carrying cash below ₹50,000 need not carry any documents. Similarly, gift items valued under ₹10,000 can be carried without documents. “Anything above these need proper documents,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 7:17:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/ceo-sir-can-we-hold-our-sons-marriage/article23496648.ece

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