Corrupt practices & offences related to electionprocess in respect of voting through postal ballots in State of Goa


Ref.No. :- GPCC/ECI/Compl-Ballot/2022/31 Date:- 20th February, 2022
The Chief Election Commissioner of India
Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road,
New Delhi

Sub:- Corrupt practices & offences related to electionprocess in respect of voting through postal ballots in State of Goa.

1. As your good office is aware that the voting for the general election to the Goa Legislative Assembly 2022, was conducted on 14.02.2022 and the date of counting is scheduled on 10.03.2022, till which date the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Further, the voting through postal ballot for the voters like government officer on election duty, Police personnel etc, who are entitled to vote through postal ballot is still in progress. It is widely spoken across the State of Goa, that the candidates of ruling Bhartiya Janata Party had indulged in large scale election related corrupt mal-practices and had distributed huge sum of money to the voters in an attempt to influence the voters.
2. After, the voting date, the State government machinery and candidates of the ruling party have indulged in illegal acts of threating and intimidating the voters who are supposed to cast their votes through postal ballots. The government officials are being coerced to cast their votes in particular manner in the favour of the ruling parties candidates. The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee has already filed complaints dated 15.02.2022 & 16.02.2022 in respect of the same to the Chief Electoral Officer and also other responsible officers involved in the process of election, however, no action of whatsoever nature has been has been initiated yet in respect of the same ( copies of the complaints are annexed for ready reference).

3. Now, further to add to the aforesaid blatant violation of rules & regulation in respect of the election process, the State Government has shockingly stooped new low level that they have brazenly started using the Government official mediums/channels to influence the voters casting their votes to postal ballot in their favour. It is apparent that the ruling party having realised the imminent defeat in election have resorted to all the possible illegalities and corrupt practices in brazen manner with complete disrespect to rule of law. All this is happening solely because the Election Commission officials in the State of Goa, are reluctant to initiate any action against such illegalities despite complaints in this regards.

4. In the this context, we wish to bring to your notice that we have got concrete information that a wireless message was transmitted by the Police Headquarters , Panaji, Goa on 17/18 February 2022, to all the police stations across Goa, wherein following information was sought :-

i. How many police staff have applied for the ballot papers?
ii. How many have cast their votes?
iii. How many have not yet cast their vote?
The name and phone numbers of police personnel’s who had not casted their votesyet through postal ballot were sought and also those personnel who have not castedtheir votes have been directed to report to Police HQ with ballot papers immediately.

5. It is pertinent to note that the Police department comes under the control of the Home Minister, who in the present case also happens to be the chief Minister of State of Goa. We have reasonable information that the aforesaid wireless message was infact issued at the dictates and instruction of the Chief Minster namely Mr. Pramod Sawant. It is also reasonably understood that money is being offered to such voters to cast their vote in favour of the ruling party. This acts of the persons involved in this illegality have not only violating basic constitutional rights guaranteed to voters but also committed corrupt practices and offences related election.

6. It is also brought to the notice of your good office that the candidates of the ruling party have been provided with the list of voters who are going to cast their votes through postal ballots (the government servant on election duty and police personnel on duty). It is rather strange that how such list has been provided to the ruling party candidate, when none of the opposition parties have been given such list. It is required to be investigated whether some officials of the election commission office in the State are indulging in such illegality of favouring the ruling party. It is clear that since the list of aforesaid voters being only provided to the ruling party candidate there is no playing field in such process in as much as the candidates of the ruling party are having the list and their candidates are contacting them to cast their votes in their favour.

7. The aforesaid acts by which the State Government is using the State machinery to threaten and influence the voters who are supposed to cast their votes through postal ballots clearly amounts to corrupt practices & offences related to election as provided under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and The Representation of People’s Act, 1951. The aforesaid acts amount to offences interalia under 171-B & 171-C of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and so also offences under section 125 of The Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

8. Free and fair election is an indispensable part of our democracy and it is the foundation of our democratic form of Government. The concept of free and fair elections mandates that nobody is unduly influenced while exercising their constitutional right to vote and that they can make and form decisions on their own, and have their personal choice free from any coercion or undue influence of another. The corrupt practices and election related offences in which the ruling party is indulging in clearly violates the basic constitutional right given to the voters and such actions are destroying the basic fundamentals of the our democratic process, which is basic feature of our Constitution.

9. In the above conspectus, we request your good office to act immediately and ensure that sanctity of the election process and values of democracy are maintained and no malpractices are resorted to and/or continued by the ruling party. Moreover, we kindly request you good office to immediately initiate an enquiry to unearth the wireless messages transmitted with respect to the above and also initiate strict action against all the persons (howsoever high position they may be holding) involved in such illegal acts of corrupt practices and offences related to election process.

Yours faithfully,

Girish Chodankar
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee
Of Indian National Congress

Copy to
1) The Chief Electoral Office
Altinho, Panaji – Goa 403 001

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