IMPHAL, May 18: The Manipur chief electoral office has sought advice of the Election Commission of India on receiving a directive from the Manipur Information Commission to submit a written statement/objection on May 21 regarding the CEO`s rejection to give a print out copy of the election result of a polling station sought by an individual under RTI Act, 2005 in force in Manipur.
The chief electoral officer, Manipur had rejected a request from a MPP candidate N Sanachoaba who contested in the recently conducted elections to the Manipur Assembly 2007 as candidate, to give a print out copy of the election results of two polling stations of 26-Bishenpur Assembly constituency.
Officials said that the CEO had rejected the provision of the print out copy as sub-rule 1A of Rule 93 of the conduct of Election Rules, 1961 stated "the control units of votes machines which are sealed under Rules 57 C after the counting of votes and kept in the custody of the district election officer shall not be inspected by or produced before, any person or authority except under the orders of a competent court.
The CEO apprised the Election Commission to convey that giving of print out copy of the election result of polled EVMs shall be governed by the provision of sub-rule 1A of Rule 93 read with rule 57 C of the conduct of election rules, 1961.
On the other hand, responding to a complaint lodged by the candidate in question on April 26 before the court of the Manipur Information Commission, the Chief Information Commissioner intimated the CEO that the information sought by the person should be given out under section 22 of the Right to Information Act, RTI, 2005.
In his statement, officials said that the provision of section 22 of the RTI had overridden the effects of any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than RTI Act, 2005.
The Right to Information Act, 2005 was officially enacted in Manipur with a gazette notification issued on July 12, 2005 even as the Information Commission was constituted in October 2006.
As many as 40 cases have been taken up since the commencement of the functioning of the state information commission in Manipur.
Out of the 40 complaints, the commission has disposed off 10 cases and show cause notice has been served in five other cases which the concerned department is yet to comply with, the chief information commissioner, Angousana told this correspondent.
However, he maintained that so far no penalty has been imposed on any authority as they have been complying with the directive of the commission so far.