In view of the delay in reporting cases of violation of model code of conduct, the Election Commission has launched an Android mobile application. Through EC's c-VIGIL app, which denotes 'Vigilant Citizen', people can send live reports on incidents of MCC violation within minutes of having witnessed them. The violations could be reported from the date of announcement of elections to a day after the polls.
The EC said that the delay in reporting of the cases of violations has often resulted in the culprits escaping detection from the action squads. Also, lack of any documented evidence in the form of pictures or videos was seen as a hurdle in verifying a complaint.
The absence of a robust response system to quickly and accurately identify the scene of occurrence with the help of geographical location details also hampered election officers' ability to apprehend the violators.
Through the app, there will be no need for the citizen to go to the office of the returning officer in their assembly constituency.
The EC hopes that through this app, it will be able to fill in the gaps in the existing violation reporting and create a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system.
Also though the app, the election officials will be able to gather evidence to take a time-bound decision by using an integrated IT solution.
In case of a registered complaint, a unique ID number is generated to allow the citizen to track the complaint status. Anonymous complaints do not get any identification numbers. Citizens can download the application from Google Play Store and use it for reporting MCC violation cases. For other complaints, they can use the facility available in the mobile app/ website of ECI Citizen Services.
Once a complaint has been received in the c-VIGIL system, the same is beeped into the District Control Room which in turn assigns it to a Flying Squad. The flying squad using a separate app can navigate to the site by using the GIS cues provided by the location information recorded with the complaint.
Flying Squads by using intuitive mobile application can rapidly and accurately file investigation report. This report gets visible to Returning Officer and he can take further action. If the incident is found correct, the information is sent to the National Grievance Portal of the Election Commission of India for further action and the vigilant citizen is informed about the action taken in a time bound manner.
The app has inbuilt features to prevent its misuse. It will receive complaints only about MCC violations. The user will get 5 minutes to report an incident after having clicked a picture or a video. To prevent being put on the false scent, the app will not allow uploading of the pre-recorded images/videos,
neither would it allow users to save photos/videos clicked from this app into the phone gallery.
The application will be active only in the states where elections have been announced. The moment a citizen exits such a State, the app will become inactive.
The beta version of c-VIGIL Android App would be rolled out as Pilot in these states.