Cast your vote or don’t, if you wish so but know rule 49-0 well

There is a fake email spreading over Internet which is misleading. I had been victim of this email quiet a long time back, and I believed!

Today I come to know about the fact.

Rule 49-0 does not cancel or reschedule polling evenif I don’t wish to go for or against any party.

Copy of an email misleading the facts:

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section “49-O” that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn’t want to vote anyone!

Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called “49-O”.

Why should you go and say “I VOTE NOBODY”… because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received “49-O” votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole political system… it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public….

Please spread this news to as many as you know… Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India… show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting… so don’t miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on…

Copy of an email clearing the facts:

This is a hoax that has been floated by an irresponsible dimwit by mails and pasted as-is by an irresponsible blogger.

Every one knows that Indian Constitution does not mention about any Section, but only Articles. In Indian Constitution there is no Sec. 49-0, leave alone Article 49-0. Article 49 of the Constitution of India deals with protection of historical monuments. The news further states that it is as per the 1969 Act. Which is the so called 1969 Act?

The fact is as follows:

Section 49-O is a section coming under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. It has nothing to do with the Constitution of India. It reads as follows:

“49-O: Elector deciding not to vote. – If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49-L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.”

This is only a provision for abstaining from voting or at the best negative voting. It does not provide for cancellation of polling if the 49-0 votes are more than the candidate’s majority or provide that the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

In fact in the PROPOSED ELECTORAL REFORMS by the Election Commission of India, which was forwarded to the Prime Minister of India on 05/07/2004, the following reform was proposed;

“7. NEGATIVE / NEUTRAL VOTING

The Commission has received proposals from a very large number of individuals and organizations that there should be a provision enabling a voter to reject all the candidates in the constituency if he does not find them suitable. In the voting using the conventional ballot paper and ballot boxes, an elector can drop the ballot paper without marking his vote against any of the candidates, if he chooses so. However, in the voting using the Electronic Voting Machines, such a facility is not available to the voter. Although, Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 provides that an elector may refuse to vote after he has been identified and necessary entries made in the Register of Electors and the marked copy of the electoral roll, the secrecy of voting is not protected here inasmuch as the polling officials and the polling agents in the polling station get to know about the decision of such a voter.

The Commission recommends that the law should be amended to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating to names of candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate, there shall be a column .None of the above., to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. Such a proposal was earlier made by the Commission in 2001 (vide letter dated 10.12.2001).

(A petition by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties seeking such a provision filed at the time of the recent general elections is pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court)”

This is the actual fact. Please do not spread messages without verifying the authenticity

So, it’s true that major (18+) Indians can vote for none, but it doesn’t mean voting will be cancelled if similar counter is larger!

Here is a news item published

References:

  1. Election Commission of India Press Note
  2. The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961
  3. 49-O on Wikipedia
  1. Luckily i stumbled across your post. I too got that email and misleaded. A good piece of info !

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