Himachal Tonite

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Jaypee University of Information Technology

Postal Ballot Voting Hindered for IGMC Shimla Staff Due to Delays

Shimla, May 21, 2024

In preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha and bye-elections, the Election Commission of India has categorized individuals deployed in essential services, such as doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff, as eligible to vote through postal ballots. These absentee voters must be certified by their Nodal officers as being “on duty” on the day of the poll.

A crucial meeting held at the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, on April 15, 2024, emphasized the strict adherence to the directives received from the Chief Election Commission of India. The aim is to enhance voter participation and encourage the exercise of the fundamental right to vote.

To facilitate this process, eligible voters were required to submit their duly filled Form 12D by May 12 to their respective Assistant Returning Officers (AROs). The Nodal officers were responsible for forwarding these forms to the concerned Returning Officers (ROs) or AROs, ensuring proper receipt and documentation.

However, the process has encountered significant obstacles due to the inaction and insensitive attitude of the Medical Superintendent’s office at IGMC Shimla. Their delay in issuing the necessary Form 12D has resulted in approximately 3,000 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and paramedical personnel, being unable to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

This delay is a significant setback for the democratic process, as it hinders the participation of essential service workers who play a critical role in society. The Election Commission’s initiative aimed to facilitate their voting rights, but the lack of timely action from the IGMC Shimla’s

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