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2017 polls: EC seeks 200 I-T officers to check black money

The Election Commission (EC) has set the ball rolling for next year’s Assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, as it has sought 200 Income Tax department officers from the government to work for it as observers to check the menace of black money.

The officers of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre have been sought from their cadre controlling authority, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and is part of the special deputation of these officers which the EC seeks every time it conducts polls in the country.

The EC wrote to the CBDT early this month seeking the manpower for conducting Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttar Pradesh apart from other by-elections during the same period in some other states. “Deployment of Expenditure Observers and the close observation of the process of elections at the constituency level has become an integral part of election management in the country. As the micromanagement has become a proven methodology, the role of the observer in ensuring free and fair election in the country has become more and more relevant in recent times.

“Having made a detailed study of the requirement of Expenditure Observers during above said period, the Election Commission has decided to get a list of names of 200 IRS (Income Tax) officers sponsored for consideration to be appointed as Election Observers,” the EC said in its communication to the CBDT.
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