EC bans campaign near TN schools designated as exam centres

The Election Commission has imposed a total ban on election campaign and use of loudspeakers within 200 metres of any school designated as an examination centre in Tamil Nadu which goes to polls on April 13.

Updated: Mar 19, 2011, 14:03 PM IST

New Delhi: The Election Commission has
imposed a total ban on election campaign and use of
loudspeakers within 200 metres of any school designated as an
examination centre in Tamil Nadu which goes to polls on April
13.

Acting on the directions of the Madras High Court, the
EC has said that use of loudspeaker should be strictly
monitored.

"There shall be a total ban on election campaign in
any manner within 200 meters of any school which has been
designated as an examination centre. Use of loudspeakers would
also be banned within 200 meters of such schools," the EC said
in a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state.

The High Court has directed that no teacher of the
school, where examinations are held shall be deployed or
called for training before the completion of the examinations
except on March 27 and April 3 (both Sundays).

No school buses and other vehicles owned by
educational institutions shall be requisitioned or seized
before April 11 for the purpose of election, the court said.

"There shall be no campaigning or election canvassing
by any political party, its followers or sympathisers within
200 meters of any school which has been designated as
examination centre," the court had said.

Noting that the court directions should be strictly
followed, the EC asked the CEO to inform every political party
and candidate in the state of the direction in writing.

The Commission has directed that use of loudspeaker
should be strictly monitored and should not be permitted in
contravention of existing laws and regulation including the
Motor Vehicles Act.

The District Election Officers shall identify
sufficient number of public places within their districts and
towns such as public grounds and open spaces which can be used
for public meetings where loudspeakers can be allowed to be
used in a fixed mode, the EC said.

However, these public grounds must be more than 200
meters away from schools designated as examination centres as
well as away from hospitals.

The access to such public places shall be provided
equitably between all political parties on a "first-come-
first-serve" basis and DEOs shall ensure that sufficient
numbers of such places are made available for use by the
political parties and candidates, the EC said.

PTI